Jenna Lyons doesn't care what you think about her style

Jenna Lyons' experience on The Real Housewives of New York City can be summed up in one sentence: "You didn't bring me on the show so I could show up in a sparkly dress."

The LoveSeen founder, interior designer, Klarna spokesperson and former J. Crew president brings her fashion-industry reputation to the show. From the very first episode, Leon has proudly challenged the unofficial Housewives franchise uniform with designer logos and lavish evening wear during the day. Instead, she donned her signature outfit, an understated blend of midriff-baring button-down tops, bejeweled blazers and luxe denim.

When it came to fashion, Lyons was unapologetic until the very end, even wearing jeans instead of a typical prom dress to the RHONY party — a casual choice that caused quite a stir.

"Andy (Cohen) made a big deal about it, and I was like, who makes the rules?" she told Buster. "We don't need me to shine. Everyone else looks like a trophy and they're all beautiful, but I can be myself and I don't feel bad about it."

Ubah Hassan, Sai De Silva, Erin Lichy, Brynn Whitfield, Jessel Taian Jessel Taank and Jenna Lyons attend the Season 14 premiere of "The Real Housewives of New York City" on July 12, 2023 in New York City . Michael Locisano/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

That bold spirit is clearly on display ahead, as Lyons gives her unfiltered thoughts on the RHONY drama, her fashion advice for co-stars, and what's on her exclusive Klarna holiday shopping list (drama Transparent: a Prada bag the size of a condom).

You often pair professional work clothes like blazers with unflattering pieces like sheer clothing. How did this combination become your signature?

It took me a long time to realize that it wasn't until I got to a more confident place in my life that I felt completely comfortable wearing sheer shirts or low-buttoned shirts. I just don't care. When you feel confident in your body, it doesn't matter what you wear.

How do you react to the controversy over your wearing jeans to the RHONY reunion?

So funny. I brought a bag of clothes to a party but had no idea what to wear, so I ended up running home and grabbing jeans. Andy (Cohen) made a big deal about it, and I was like, who makes the rules? You didn’t bring me on the show just so I could show up in a sparkly dress. We don't need me to shine. Everyone else looks like a trophy and they're all beautiful, but I can be myself and I don't feel bad about it.

Jenna Lyons attends The Real Housewives of New York City Season 14 reunion. Clifton Prescod/Bravo

I can't believe these comments. I don't read them, but people send them to me. People have too much time on their hands. Who really cares?

What styling advice would you give to other housewives?

I think they all did a great job and they got better and better as the show went on. One thing that was interesting was how they dressed in the Hamptons. I was like, no one here dresses like that. Can we calm down a little? This will make you look like you haven't been there.

What items on Klarna's holiday shopping list will you give to your RHONY castmates?

Well, it depends on who we're talking about. I think I might give them to everyone except Sai.

Is this because of all that crap she said to you about giving away your collaborations?

There was a collaboration that was done and gone. it's all over. It is not for sale. This is the part that I find interesting. Their brand is something I admire and I just want to help support them and give them some air time. I'm not promoting anything of myself. The fact that it was framed that way , I thought, well...I'm sorry, what does she do for a living?

She’s an influencer—she sells stuff.

I didn't ask her to post or do anything. There are zero requests. I know better.

"When you feel confident in your body, it doesn't matter what you wear."

One of my favorite items on your Klarna holiday shopping list are Hello Kitty sneakers. Why did you choose these?

When I grew up, there was no internet. Those were the dark ages. There was a little Japanese shop in the mall and this woman owned the whole Hello Kitty world and I had never seen anything like it. These types of illustrations and paintings are simply not part of American culture. It was all so beautiful and it really sparked my love and curiosity for graphic design and the way it uses color. I saved up my babysitting money and bought all the Hello Kitty stuff.

You also added a Prada bag to your list. What can you adapt to?

You'll need to bring keys, a lipstick, and maybe a condom, depending on what happens later. These are the primaries. Everyone walks around with their phone and no one has it in their wallet anyway. You'll also need mints. People are intimate talkers.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.