Since debuting four years ago, Netflix’s Selling Sunset—an addictive reality show chronicling the professional and social lives of a gaggle of statuesque Los Angeles realtors and their bosses, diminutive identical twin brothers Brett and Jason Oppenheim—has produced 7 seasons in rapid succession. That means that the program has had to maintain a kind of hysterical acceleration when it comes to property drama and aesthetics.
In years previous, cast members like Mary Fitzgerald, a sweet saleswoman who became a mother as a teenager, and Chrishell Stause, a knockout beauty-turned-tragic heroine in Season 3 when her soap opera actor ex-husband dumped her via text message, would lead clients around winsome, Sherman Oaks 4-bedroom homes priced at around $3 million. Expensive, but cute!
In accordance with the balmy weather and their chi-chi clientele, the all-female cast of realtors always dressed upscale-professional for showings and open houses: daytime cocktail dresses, sky-high heels, and perfectly blown-out hair. The looks were very “done,” and very Los Angeles, but there was a modesty to the proceedings.
Those days are long gone. A new mansion tax implemented in L.A. in April, which is discussed often on Season 7 of Sunset, coupled with a steep slowdown in luxury home sales following the feverish market surge during the pandemic, has left the well-heeled brokers and their clients scrambling to knock spectacular deals out of the park, fast.
As such, for the realtors, any and all prim summer dresses have been left in the closet in favor of outfits that could only be described as dystopian dominatrix armor.
In order to make their commissions, these real estate professionals-slash-TV-stars have transformed themselves into unforgettable walking advertisements as intimidating as the ultramodern architecture they’re selling.
Above, the adorable Chelsea Lazkani celebrates her first $10 million listing with an outfit that would be full BDSM-schoolgirl—complete with sky-high Pleaser heels—if it weren’t for the luxury Cartier timepiece adorning her wrist.
In a brilliant bit of styling, Nicole Young, the show’s most irritating stick in the mud, always shows up with poodle hair when she’s being the least fun. No one else in the history of the United States of America has ever made their hair look this way on purpose.
Realtor Amanza Smith is, by far, the show’s most reliably batshit dresser in Season 7, due to her knack for making avant-garde choices that are always wildly inappropriate for the occasion. To link up with an old friend looking to buy a home, she selects Blade Runner sunglasses, short shorts, go-go boots, and a sparkly blazer.
Would you buy a house from this person? At first blush, you’d think no. But the more you contemplate the outfit that’s been burned into your retinas, and wonder if she might be some sort of genius who knows something you don’t, the more appealing the idea becomes.
When she meets up for drinks with Chelsea, another realtor who’s pissed at Amanza for stirring up shit within their friend group, Amanza is wearing what appears to be a hot pink flotation device, as though preparing to buoy herself through whatever shitstorm is sure to follow. She looks like she’s wearing a scuba suit to a speakeasy.
And here, (from left), Chelsea, Brett, Breana Tiesi, Emma Herman, and Mary epitomize the late-capitalist incongruence that makes Selling Sunset so delicious, out of touch, and compulsively watchable. They’re speaking to an ultra-rich client who’s so eager to get rid of a four-story, 41,000 square-foot luxury behemoth for $59 MILLION in an iffy market that he’s willing to gift the winning realtor one of his many Aston Martins as a sweetener.
They dressed for the occasion, meaning they dressed like lunatics. Rich people get away with doing anything they want, so the realtors, with their outfits, communicate that they belong by inhabiting whichever universe they happen to prefer.
Chelsea looks dolled up for a night out in Vegas; Brett looks like a normal professional guy because we live under the patriarchy; Bre looks like she’s about to accept an award at a Girlboss convention; Emma looks ready for a ’70s-themed bachelorette party; and Mary looks like slutty Hillary Clinton. May the best seller win.