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On this week's season premiere of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, cast member Cynthia Bailey launched her own modeling agency slash fashion school. Bailey, a former model and still perfectly-cheekboned person, needs a storyline for this season, and it looks like her new business is going to be a big one for her. This week's episode featured a runway walking course taught by--of course--America's Next Top Model star Miss Jay. And did we spy former Top Model contestant Whitney in the crowd? She didn't get a chryon, but it sure looked like her.
While The Bailey Agency makes sense as a business venture for Cynthia (certainly better than the ill-fated restaurant she and husband Peter sank their money into last season), we have a couple of questions about the company's legitimacy. After all, most Housewife-branded ventures don't have a great track record.
While Bethenny Frankel's Skinnygirl brand has been a big success, most Housewife products haven't had similar luck. New Jersey Housewife Caroline Manzo's family runs an event space called the Brownstone, but the business predated the show. Ditto former New York housewife Jill Zarin's fabric company, which she and her husband ran pre-reality show.
There have been plenty of Housewife-branded products, from wine to handbags to makeup to so-bad-they're-kinda-good singles, but most haven't brought in enough money to make a difference. Bailey's agency is a good idea for her as modeling jobs grow more scarce, but the idea of a combination agency and school seems sketchy - after all, no legit agency would force you to pay for modeling classes. Is the business just there to make money and give Cynthia a storyline this season, or will it become the lynchpin of another Housewife-related financial scandal? I guess we'll just have to tune in and find out.
· The Bailey Agency School of Fashion [Official Site]