Renee Graziano of Mob Wives Spotlight Interview for ViralFashion.com

In the spring of 2011, drug VH1 introduced a new reality TV show about the lives of six Staten Island women with family members involved in the mafia. The show followed Renee Graziano, sickness Drita D’Avanzo, medicine Karen Gravano, Carla Facciolo, Ramona Rizzo, and Angela Raiola as they dealt with single motherhood, husbands, fathers, and family behind bars, and the troubles and drama of everyday life- as a Mob Wife. Being married to the mob isn’t easy, as was most evident in the life of Renee Graziano, daughter of Anthony “T.G.” Graziano. Incredibly independent, outspoken, and family-minded, Renee proved to be a central figure in the Mob Wives show. Viral Fashion caught up with Renee to see what we can expect from the reality star now that Season 2 has ended, and what she thinks of fashion, family, and moving forward.

Viral Fashion: What was life like before Mob Wives? We’ve been able to see how your life changed when Karen Gravano made her way back to the Staten Island scene- but before her return and the start of the show, what was a normal day in the life for you?

Renee Graziano: Not very different. I worked for big shots in the music, fashion and television industry prior to MOB WIVES, so it gave me a taste of what the “flashing lights” were like.

A typical day before my dad, ex-husband and brother-in-law all went to jail was filled with motherly and wifely duties. AJ [my son] always did and forever will come first- then cooking, cleaning, and laundry.

VF: You mentioned on the show a little about your work as a stylist- how did you get into that industry? 

Renee: Before my brilliant younger sister got into television, she worked at Sony music. I did not have a job at the time, so I would always tag along to industry parties hoping to find work. It was there that I was introduced to Tiffany Hasbourne who at the time worked for 50 cent, G-Unit, and Busta Rhymes– to name a few. We connected right away and I became her assistant.

VF: What do you keep in mind when helping someone create a wardrobe? 

Renee: When helping someone create a wardrobe, the most important thing to me is to let them keep their own identity but also show them they could keep it while trying something new, too.

VF: Have you been able to meet any interesting people as a stylist? Have you been able to meet any celebrities as a result of the show?

Renee: Everyone knew my dad, so I’ve been meeting very famous people since I was a kid. And then Tiffany introduced me to many celebs and I also have met others on my own such as the beautiful Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and of course, Tracey Morgan, while working on 30 Rock.

Now that I’m on reality TV I pretty much meet all sorts of celebs. I must say my life is getting very exciting!

vh1 Mob Wives Reality TV Series

VF: What are your favorite designers to dress (yourself and others!) in? 

Renee: This year it’s about change for me so I’m the only one that I’m dressing…. I love, love, Elie Tahari and my new guiltiest pleasure is WALTER BAKER!

VF: On the show you discussed the importance of a mob wife’s fur coat. Though PETA may not have loved it, we were all ears. What does the closet of a mob wife look like? 

Renee: The closet of a MOB WIFE definitely has a lot of black in it…and several very expensive furs. BUT ever since PETA has contacted me, I’m not running to buy a new fur, what I have [had] prior [to PETA] is mine and I will wear.

VF: You have grown up a daughter of the mob, and throughout the show you’ve managed to point out that though the lifestyle seems to have its perks, it ultimately can do a lot of damage. Do you feel that you, Karen, Drita, and the rest of the women of MW have been able to impact other women who are “stuck” in the lifestyle?

Renee: I speak for myself on this– Yes I was born into “it,” only dated the sons of “it,” married “it,” and have been stuck since I got divorced, but not from “it.” Just my ex is.

 VF: Are there any new career opportunities that the show has offered you? 

Renee: The career opportunities are endless. I have a shoe line called MOBCANDY coming out the end of June, makeup line, perfume, and my favorite of all was when I recently appeared on VH1’s Stevie TV.  Stevie Ryan is a one-woman comedy show and let me tell you Stevie is Carol Brunette, Lucille Ball and Tracy Ullman rolled into one… GENIUS. I always dreamed of being on sitcom or any show that can make others laugh.

VF: Have you signed on for a third season of Mob Wives? 

Renee: Yes, yes, yes! Season Three starts filming in July!!!!

VF: What do you look forward to most from your future after the show?

Renee: I look forward to the day that I can dedicate my time, love, and life to people in need. I pray that somewhere, someone was paying attention to the negative side of the “underworld” and they change their minds about robbing a bank and instead become a bank teller. I look forward to watching AJ grow into more of a man then he already is at 18.  I’m a very proud mom.

For more information on Renee Graziano and MOB WIVES, visit VH1’s website.
written by Rachel Margaritis