Leah McSweeney is a true housewife star — and a streetwear OG

That’s a great way to look at it. I would imagine the stress of a court case of this magnitude is no fun, but the fact that there was 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 this out and put it in a frame and hang it up somewhere in my apartment. It’s art. Whenever Barbara Kruger speaks or puts something down on paper, it is art.

You were previously a semi-public figure Real housewivesbut were you nervous about stepping up to the next level of publicity?

I was definitely nervous. I said, “Oh my god, I’m gonna be on fucking TV!” Like “What? This is crazy.” I was definitely shocked. I think it was interesting because it affects a lot of viewers and it’s so mainstream. In a good way and a bad way, many people had never heard of Mob but now know. Some say: “Wow! That’s freaking cool,” and some people just don’t get it.

Some people don’t understand streetwear or downtown New York or this whole community and where I’m from. I don’t think they understand. It’s obviously such a big transition from mob to TV. I’m still trying to find my balance where I’m still making the mark. I don’t have much time for it, and I’m not as involved as I used to be. But how do I continue the brand and then also be Leah McSweeney as this new person on TV? I do not know. It’s a bit strange.

How do you navigate fame, take care of your sanity and still be a creative person?

The public is not friendly. I never wanted to be famous or anything like that. I just wanted to do cool shit that made me feel good, and I had different ways to express myself. Being in the public eye is not a creative outlet. You know what I mean? I think the show is a form of art in a way, but I’m still navigating how to take care of my sanity and deal with my new life. Thank god for meds and damn psychiatrists and all.

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

Yeah, it kind of makes me sad to think about it. I feel really lucky to be a part of this community. I miss this world because I’m not as much a part of it as I used to be. I miss the fair days and all that. But things are changing.

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

Hopefully. I feel like I’ve gotten a little less shy, but I feel a lot more relaxed than I used to. I’m not as open as I used to be, and sometimes I miss that girl. I think a little more than I used to. But the Mob ethos, the Most Official Bitches attitude, yes. I will still go through the world and every career I have from now until whenever I look through that prism.

This interview has been edited and abridged.

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