Real Housewives of New Jersey star Melissa Gorga held a fabulous Season 7 Premiere After Party at her Montclair clothing boutique, Envy by Melissa Gorga. She invited fans to come shop and celebrate the premiere episode with her Monday evening. Hundreds lined up to take photos and chat with the Montville beauty, and of course partake in a little retail therapy. I had a chance to chat with the mom-of-three about the emotional premiere, and find out exactly why hubby Joe Gorga loves to take his clothes off for the camera. You’ll also get to meet the two new faces you’ll be seeing this season on RHONJ — store manager Derek Zagami, and Melissa’s partner Jackie Beard Robinson. Watch below for your exclusive look inside the celebration.
The line to get in was stretched down the block, and Melissa couldn’t have been more thrilled. She tells me, “I’m so happy about that. I always appreciate everybody’s support. Everybody’s always been supportive with everything that I have done since I’ve been on the show, and this is kind of something that’s not even about the show. It was my jewelry line, then it turned into this. It’s always these things you don’t expect to be your most successful things that end up being your most successful.”
Now onto more pressing matters, like why her hubby Joe let it all hang out (literally) during the premiere episode. Melissa says he’s clearly not shy, “Oh my gosh, I’m like ‘Joe!’ He just doesn’t even pay attention to the cameras, like he makes believe that they’re not even there. He just does what he has to do. He’s not shy obviously. That’s Joe. I yelled at him by the way. I was like ‘Can you keep your clothes on when the cameras are here, like it’s not funny.’ He’s like ‘What I don’t even care. I just do what I have to do.’ I’m like ‘No it’s not funny, and they’re blurring you, and it’s not even a big enough blur if you ask me.'”
Joe clearly made quite the commotion with that scene on social media. Melissa adds, “And it’s so funny, there’s like five Housewives on the show, and Joe Gorga is the one who ends up trending on Twitter. I’m like it’s because you took your clothes off, that’s why.”
Envy prides itself on its personalized client experience, and even though they were at capacity during the party, Derek tells me customer service was still their number one priority.
“It’s so busy, and it’s so chaotic, but we’re still styling, and having that one on one experience with the customers, and that’s our goal everyday at Envy. Even if there’s three hundred people on line outside, we have one on one with each client, each person that’s coming in. We’re styling them, we’re teaching them about themselves, about fashion.”
We will be seeing Envy built from the ground up this season on RHONJ, so it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more of Melissa’s entertaining (and of course super fashionable) staff as well.
Derek confirms, “I will be on. I filmed with them a lot. I filmed with Melissa obviously at the store, and you never know, there’s always something happening at Envy.”
After making her debut during the premiere, we’ll also be seeing a lot more of Jackie this season, who met Melissa during a photoshoot for her Florida boutique, Ginjer Delray Beach.
“We went to the Bahamas, and we did a photoshoot in Harbor Island in the pink sand, and it was the best time! We had such a great time,” she says, “We all talk about going back there. It’s like one of the best times ever, so hopefully one day we’ll go back there and do another photoshoot.”
Not even open a year, Envy is already looking to expand not only their merchandise selection, but the store itself.
Jackie tells me, “We are getting shoes — Sam Edelman, Betsey Johnson shoes — we’re also getting plus sizes, and mens. So we’re gonna do all of the above, and I’m not sure exactly how we’re gonna do it, but we’re going to utilize the upstairs where we’re doing storage. There’s a demand for it. There’s nothing like here around it.”
Giving back is a huge priority for Melissa and Jackie, so that’s why they’ve teamed up with the Paterson Task Force, to conduct job training programs to teach members of the community about the world of retail.
Jackie tells me they are also donating clothing to help those in need get back into the workforce. She tells me, “When you buy something, we donate something. So we’ve already taken loads of clothing over there that we wanted to donate to begin with, so when people buy something, then we donate. So what we do is provide kind of a wardrobe for work, and not only just a wardrobe for work, but for however long it takes them to get back on their feet.”
In addition to seeing Melissa hard at work on Envy, and Joe stripping this season, we will also be witnessing some heartwarming and touching moments with her and the other ladies. “I think it’s an emotional season. I think that’s the best word for it. It’s emotional, but it’s super funny also,” she says, “It’s so funny that we have huge comedy this season, alot of fun, alot of laughs. The new girls are great. I think the fans will not be dissapointed.”