Gird your loins. On Sunday, "House of DVF" returns to E! for its second season. Creative Brand Director Stefani Greenfield's very New York-y one-liners, Style Editor Jessica Joffe's tell-all facial expressions and boss lady Diane von Furstenberg's sage (and sometimes head-scratching) nuggets of wisdom will all be back. But this time around, expect a slightly more seasoned, experienced crew of fashion-obsessed contestants, who will vie for that lone brand ambassador position at von Furstenberg's company. But, oh wait.
"Well, we don't call them contestants and we don't call it a competition," chided Joffe, and I will listen to her lest she throws one of her side-eye death glares at me.
A sneak peek shows the contestants, er, job applicants, proving their worth at the fall 2015 Diane von Furstenberg show (there are multiple Kendall Jenner cameos, natch), jetting off to Paris and working the CFDA Awards red carpet again. One contender even scores DVF's plus-one ticket to the Met Gala. "This time around, I had a little bit more experience, so I wanted to focus on giving the girls and the audience access to what really happens inside a fashion house," von Furstenberg explained via email. "I wanted it to be fun and informative and I think we have done that."
The fashion house's team benefited from spending time with the girls as well. "The whole reason for [Diane von Furstenberg] doing the docuseries is because she wanted to be able to hear what the millennials had to say and incorporate it into her own company," season one winner and current brand ambassador Brittany Hampton told me.
"A big reason we want to bring in these young girls is because they can offer us all sorts of insights into a younger consumer and their sort of tastes and behaviors of that generation," said Joffe. "So I think we deliberately chose girls that had had a lot of experience — whether it was styling, design, PR or social media or whatever it is —and we were able to ask them to put those skills to use as well for us within the company." But despite the girls' more polished résumés, drama will ensue. It is a reality show on E!, after all.
"The dynamic of women in groups is very interesting," said Joffe.
And von Furstenberg has her strategy for dealing with the impending infighting. "This show is a competition so I could feel the tension, but I ignored it," she said, while dropping the verboten "c" word. "I really focus on an individual relationship with each girl rather than getting involved in the group dynamic. I try my best to share what I have learned and to use the show as a forum to empower young women."
After winning, I mean, earning the brand ambassador spot last year, Hampton has had a whirlwind of PR and marketing tasks: press appearances and in-store events around the world, plus social media management. Obviously there are perks to enjoy, namely all those international work trips. "I never traveled before this job," Hampton said. "Thailand was my favorite because Diane also invited my mother to come."
Hampton will stay in the position until December and then she'll take her experience and branch out on her own. "A lot of different things have come because of this opportunity," she said. "Not only did I become a brand ambassador, but I'm also a TV personality. I was a stylist prior to this and I still have a lot of styling gigs and I got signed by Next Modeling Agency. So I'm hoping that a lot of it will all tie together and I can have my own brand one day." Spoken like a true DVF disciple.
So come Sunday night, another group of women will bond, work, bitch and cry tears of joy and desperation in the quest to replace Hampton, and avoid leaving the show with that DVF branded swag bag as a consolation prize. But what the eff is in that bag?! Von Furstenberg isn't spilling:"Well, we have to have a little bit of mystery!"
"House of DVF" season two premieres at 9 pm ET on Sunday, Sept. 13. The show will move to its regular slot at 10 pm ET starting Sunday, Sept. 20.