THE UNOFFICIAL NYC “HOUSEWIFE”: SIMON VAN KEMPEN TALKS FAMILY AND FASHION (EXCLUSIVE)
Michael spoke with Simon Van Kampen, husband of “Housewives of New York City” star Alex McCord, about his life as a husband of a “Housewife”, fashion and more…
Michael: Will your upcoming trip to Asbury Park be your first visit to our fair city?
Simon: Yes and no, just a few weeks ago we stopped in to a friends place in Deal and he took me for a late night drive around Deal and we drove across the into Asbury Park. But I didn’t have time to get out of the car, so I suppose the answer is no.
Michael: It’s great to watch the chemistry between you & Alex on the show, you truly seem to get each other. How do the two of you keep the spark alive?
Simon: When we first met, our love spontaneously combusted and so there was a lot of flame to begin with those sparks.
Michael: Your book “Little Kids, Big City” deals with any possible issue, from dealing with accidents, to the all important trips outside of the city. What inspired the two of you to write the book?
Simon: Alex started writing down some of the stories not long after François was born, to help us remember the crazy things that occurred, as we both realized that our memories cleanse themselves and usually only retain the great things. Part of the book was almost published in an anthology in 2004. Then, between Seasons 1 and 2 a literary agent approached us.
Seeing our children & style of parenting had been seen under a selected microscope in Season 1, we thought a book about our boys made sense.
Michael: The book has gotten some tremendous reviews, even from fellow NYC Housewife Bethenny Frankel. What do you think makes your stories so relatable to everyday parents?
Simon: One thing that most everyone takes from the book is that the immense joys, frustrations and challenges of parenting are largely the same for us all, crossing socioeconomic & urban/non urban boundaries. Also many parents loved our frankness in that we held nothing back and were blatantly honest in admitting time we might have not made the best decision. Isn’t hindsight wonderful?
Michael: You and Alex already have two gorgeous sons, Johan and François. Any plans to let the boys be big brothers to a new addition?
Simon: No. Coming from the original perspective that we weren’t going to have kids, we changed our minds after three years of marriage and once we decided to have one we quickly realized we wanted two children and would stop there. With Johan not too far from turning 5, I can assure you we’re not about to change our minds. We don’t want to be outnumbered.
Michael: Your fashion sense on the show definitely sets you apart from the other husbands. Who are some of your favorite designers?
Simon: I’m a fashion risk taker and I love that the show has given me the ability to highlight some great designers that aren’t part of major multinational global brands. Throughout season 3, I wore a lot of clothes by John Bartlett and also By Robert James. When the episodes aired, I received tweets asking me who I was wearing. It’s been great to add to the designer’s exposure.
Michael: Many times you’ve been called the “unofficial” other NY Housewife. How accurate do you feel that portrayal to be?
Simon: In seasons 1 and 2 that was probably pretty accurate, but Season 3 not so. The difference being that in the first two years, Alex and I both worked regular corporate jobs and only filmed in the evenings and weekends, when in reality we were together. So we were seen that way on a reality show too. In early 2009, Alex was laid off from her corporate job and set up business for herself and was therefore able to film more during the day when I was at work.
Michael: The $750,000.00 question: any idea if we will be seeing more Alex & Simon on next year’s “Real Housewives Of New York City”?
Simon: Well, at this stage your guess is as good as mine.
Next week, Richard Virgilio dishes with Simon’s wife, Alex McCord, here and in The Coaster.