Leah McSweeney is a true housewife star — and streetwear OG

That’s a great way to look at it. I can imagine the stress of a lawsuit of this size being no fun, but the fact that it’s getting a response from such an iconic artist is no small matter.

I know, and she sent it as a Word document. I really should print it out, frame it, and hang it up somewhere in my apartment. That is art. Whenever Barbara Kruger says or writes anything on paper, it’s art.

You were previously a public seller Real housewivesBut are you nervous about taking the next level of being in the public eye?

I was definitely worried. I was like, “Oh my, I’m going to watch damn TV!” Like, “What? This is crazy.” I’m definitely very shaken. I guess it was interesting, because it got a lot of viewers and it was very mainstream. On the good and bad side, a lot of people have never heard of Mob, but now know about it. Some are like “Wow! That’s great” and some people just don’t understand.

Some people don’t understand streetwear, downtown New York, or that community as a whole and where I might come from. I don’t think they understand. Apparently it was a big move from Mob to TV. I’m still trying to find my balance, where I’m still building the brand. I don’t have much time to do that and I don’t participate as much as before. But how do I continue to grow the brand and then become Leah McSweeney as a TV newcomer? I do not know. It’s a bit strange.

How do you navigate your popularity, take care of your mental health, and still be a creative?

The public eye is not kind. I never set out to be famous or anything like that. I just want to do fun things that make me feel good and I have different ways of expressing myself. Being in the public eye is not a creative outlet. Do you understand what I mean? I think the show is an art form, but I’m still figuring out how to take care of my mental health and deal with my new life. Thank god for the drugs, and the damn psychiatrist, and everything.

You’re on this hugely popular reality show and about to star in your first movie. You’re clearly entering the next phase of your career, but I noticed that you thanked the streetwear community first in your thanks for your book.

Yeah, in a way it makes me sad to think about it. I feel really lucky to be a part of that community. I miss that world, because I’m no longer a part of it like I used to be. I miss the trade show days and all that. But everything changes.

Do you think that world will always be a part of you?

I hope so too. I feel a little less shy, no longer shy, but I feel a lot more comfortable than before. I no longer respect you as before, and sometimes I miss that girl. I think things are going a little bit more smoothly than before. But the Mob’s ethos, the most official Bitches attitude, yes. I will still go through the world and all my careers from now until I look through that lens.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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