Most people know Kelly Cutrone as a reality TV star, a judge on "America's Next Top Model," or as the founder of the famed fashion PR firm People's Revolution. But Cutrone says she never set out to rule the pop culture universe.

To be young

In fact, she had to start over to find the path she truly wanted to follow.

"I never really had any plans," she admits. "I owned a PR company at the age of 21, but I bought into the whole concept of: be skinny, young, pretty and successful; find a great guy; get married and live happily ever after.

“I found out that really didn't give me any sense of who I was or what I wanted in life."

"'People hate powerful women,' she says. 'That's just the truth.'" 

Stepping up

After taking a self-imposed timeout, Cutrone founded People's Revolution. "I started to do what I'd always wanted to do, which is to tell stories and put people together,” she explains, “and through that create magic and manifestation."

The result? Cutrone has become one of the most famous women in fashion PR. But it hasn't been easy.

"People hate powerful women," she says. "That's just the truth. With other movements, society has agreed to have a zero tolerance policy for unacceptable behavior, but when people speak about women that way, they get a Grammy."

Cutrone has made it a mission to be herself in the public eye. "Ultimately, my job has been an incredible spiritual teaching. A world of great wins and great failures, and all of that has deepened my understanding of myself and, ultimately, humanity. That's why we're all here, right?"

She advises young women to "be cautious about a world and society that tells you, ‘You have to be skinny and quiet and agreeable.’ That's not what it means to be feminine." And as for her 20-year-old self? If she could lend advice today, with a laugh Cutrone says it’d be "to not listen to her mother."