Get the Inside Scoop on Stassi Schroeder
Written By: Nanda Dyssou
Photographed By: Wil Cohen Stassi Schroeder
Styled By: Claudia Alvarado Stassi Schroeder
Hair By: Julia Savitskaya Stassi Schroeder
Makeup By: Brian Bond Stassi Schroeder
As a reality starlet on Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules” and host of the podcast “Straight Up with Stassi,” Stassi Schroeder is known for her quick wit, sharp tongue and funny one-liners. At only 29 years old, she has also worn the titles of model, fashion blogger and jewelry designer. What few people know is that Stassi prides herself on being loyal to a fault, be it to her hometown of New Orleans or to her group of friends, all living within a mile radius of her current home in West Hollywood. She is a Southerner to the core, and always keeps her fridge and bar cart stocked in case anyone should stop by unexpectedly. Stassi and I met at The Restaurant in The Chateau Marmont, where over the course of two hours, a few glasses of Sancerre and a turbo-charged chopped salad, we talked about her career, personal life and plans for the future. Stassi Schroeder
As a teenager, Stassi thought she would end up in New York City as a musical theater performer. After all, she was president of the drama club and voted most talented in her high school. She even learned to juggle during after school Circus Training classes. However, her life took a different turn in 2005, when she appeared with her family on ABC’s reality competition “The Amazing Race.” In 2008, she was cast on “Queen Bees,” a short-lived TeenNick reality series about young girls, but the show, which Stassi found her true self was Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules.” Stassi Schroeder
After six years on TV, she is so used to being surrounded by cameras that she doesn’t even notice them. Still, Stassi sticks to her pre-show rituals, “I have to have a spray tan and a cocktail before filming.” Stassi Schroeder
When asked about behind the scenes secrets, she says, “The craziest stuff always happens once the cameras leave. When we hear, ‘Okay, let’s wrap,’ and we start drinking more…that’s when major fights go down.”
While Stassi loves getting paid to be herself, the show’s shooting schedule is tight. During filming, she has little time for herself, which is why between seasons she likes to visit her loved ones, have her friends over, curl up on the couch with her dogs, drink a glass of wine and watch one of her favorite shows. Her big picks are “Black Mirror,” “The OA,” “Stranger Things,” and “Game of Thrones.”
Being in the public eye has also been a hindrance to Stassi’s love life. Two of her breakups—with co-star Jax Taylor and radio host Patrick Meagher—were televised for all to see. This didn’t make her guarded, but made her aware of her lack of privacy. “It is the hardest thing to have a relationship because your fans and producers want to see it, and it’s very hard to ask somebody to put themselves on TV and be willing to be edited to look like an a-hole, possibly. It’s a lot.”
There is also the problem of her work attracting the wrong kind of attention. “The men I’m attracted to are men who don’t want to do reality TV. But the men who want to date me…I don’t trust them. I’m like are you just using me? Do you even like me? I need to find somebody who really doesn’t want to do reality TV but loves me so much that he will do it for me.”
For now, she is mostly enjoying the single life. “After my breakup, I vowed to stay single for a year. I got burned out on bad dates. Plus, being single gives me a chance to do things that I don’t normally do when I’m in a relationship, like going on my friends’ Katie and Tom’s honeymoon, or taking a girls’ trip to Copenhagen and Paris in April.”
Stassi has no regrets about her life choices. “The only thing I wish I had known before getting on reality TV is how to do my makeup better.” She decided long ago to be an open book, “All the good things in my life have happened because I don’t hold back. And if somebody doesn’t like that, that’s their problem.”
Her trademark honesty comes at a price; Stassi is often billed as the show’s villain or “mean girl.” She insists that her true self is to the contrary and those close to her know it. “I never have the intention to hurt anyone, but TV is entertainment, so you have to fight with people, disclose things about your life that you don’t want to, and you have to let others see the ugly sides of your personality. But I’m not mean. Maybe in season one I was a little mean, but I was young, 22, and going through a breakup. All my friends were siding with my boyfriend, so it was hard.”
“I get paid for being myself. That’s the best and the worst part of my job. Being on ‘Pump Rules’ is not like being an actress in a movie where, if you don’t like her character, it’s not personal. When somebody sees me, they either like me or hate me, and it is personal. Sometimes it gets hurtful,” she says with a somber expression. “Being on the show has taught me not to be judgmental. ‘Judgy,’ yes, but not judgmental.”
Stassi has always loved talk radio and had listened to, now ex-boyfriend, Patrick Meagher’s show for three years before using “Vanderpump Rules” as a springboard for “Straight Up with Stassi,” her weekly podcast. “It is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, the thing I’m most proud of. It’s an opportunity I wouldn’t have been given without the show. I’ve had so many listeners email me about how depressed, or suicidal, or lost they felt about losing a loved one or being in the hospital, and my podcast helped them get through those things. And that has given me such a sense of purpose that I didn’t have before.” On her podcast, she’s talked about music, dating, fashion and partying with guests like Nigel Barker, Kristin Chenoweth, Emma Roberts and Rachel Zoe. Her next dream guests for the podcast would be Kate Hudson and Jennifer Lawrence, both women she appreciates for being “no-bullshit, cool, down-ass chicks.” Stassi brings her candid style to the world of podcasting too. “I make sure not to edit anything out. I’m not hiding anything, and I’m not scared to talk about things that may be a little touchy. I wouldn’t mind being the female Howard Stern…I’m getting there,” she says with a smile that speaks volumes about her passion for this career path. Eventually, she would like to make her show a five-days-a-week, live affair.
Stassi has never been afraid to aim high, and so far it has paid off. Last year, a childhood aspiration of hers came true when she was a Grand Marshall for the Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans. “It was the craziest experience I’ve ever had. Nothing will ever be as fun as that, not even my own wedding.”
Stassi also fell in love with fashion many years ago and has tried on every aspect of it for size. She modeled for GQ, Vanity Fair, US Weekly and more. Then, she designed a jewelry collection for Shop Prima Donna, which was all inspired by her childhood jewelry making experiences and gemstone buying trips to Europe with her mom. She even tried her hand at fashion writing and blogging via her “Style Diaries.” “I thought I was going to be the next Rachel Zoe,” she says of those days.
After a year and a half, she decided that blogging was not compatible with her personality. “I’m not a blogger type. I’m a little rough around the edges. I don’t want to create a fake life on Instagram with a rose gold filter on every photo, pretending that my life is perfect at every moment. I don’t like the façade. I want my captions to be real. My current website Juststassi.com combines my podcast, fashion and other aspects of my personality, and it’s more real and relatable.”
Her personal sense of style is inspired by the Old Hollywood glamour of the ‘40s and the Swinging ‘60s in London. “I love texture, the way certain fabrics feel. I also enjoy surprises, like necklaces that fall behind the back, when the best part of the outfit is the back.” Stassi has a fondness for Chloé handbags, Manolo sandals, and Chanel accessories, but she also loves a good bargain. Once, on a trip in Canada, she had to buy a new suitcase to bring back all her bargain finds.
Monochromatic looks are a favorite of Stassi’s, and she swears by finding one’s uniform; a look that makes you feel confident. “In the fall, I like sweater dresses, thigh-high boots, and statement coats. In the summer, I love off-the-shoulder rompers, tops, and embellished sandals.” She dresses up even at home, for herself. “All my pajamas are matching silk sets; my slippers look like Cinderella shoes. I feel best about myself when I look good. And I get more excited about putting together an outfit than I get about going to an actual event. In fact, my ideal day is going to brunch, then sitting down at home, looking at fashion blogs. Online shopping is my Xanax. It calms me down,” she says as she laughs self-consciously. Her shopping habits have evolved further under the guidance of stylist Audrey Brianne, who taught her never to judge anything based on what it looks like on a hanger but to try on everything.
One day she would like to try her hand at designing shoes and handbags. “If I had a line of shoes I would die. But I would only do it if I had full creative control. That would be a dream come true.” And if the past is any indicator, Stassi’s shoe line is not far off in the future. Fingers crossed!
Hometown: New Orleans, LA.
Favorite Selfie Spot: Second floor of the Revolve showroom
Favorite Drink Destination: Bar Marmont at Chateau Marmont
Idol: Joan Rivers
Celebrity Crush: Emma Stone
Biggest Splurge: Roger Vivier sneakers for a cool $1,500
Triple Threat: She boasts a bachelor’s degree in English, she can juggle, and has a weekly podcast called “Straight Up with Stassi.”
Sleeping Beauty: Her go-tos for a good snooze are matching silk pj’s and Cinderella slippers.
52 Brooks Ave
Venice, CA 90291
1800 Ocean Front Walk
Venice, CA 90291
Nanda Dyssou is a journalist and writer of Hungarian and Congolese origin. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of California in Riverside with a BA in Creative Writing, and is currently a 2018 MFA candidate in Fiction at UCR. Nanda enjoys working in a variety of writing fields, and is currently at work on a novel, a short story cycle, and several essays.