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Audrina Patridge: Seeing My Bongo Billboard Was "Surreal"

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Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Audrina Patridge has graced the cover of Maxim and performed the tango in front of millions on Dancing with the Stars, but she says seeing a larger-than-life-sized billboard of herself on one of the busiest streets in Los Angeles was a “surreal” experience. “It’s gigantic,” she told PEOPLE Wednesday at Hollywood’s Redbury Hotel while describing her new, super-tall Bongo ad on Sunset Boulevard. “It’s so big! When I saw it, I was like, ‘Oh, my god, that’s way up close and personal.’ I’m so appreciative of it. I never in a thousand years thought I’d ever be up there. It’s insane, but it’s amazing.” The star of the new VH1 series Audrina is featured wearing a sexy black two-piece in the ad. “It was really about promoting the brand’s spring and summer lines,” Patridge, 25, said during a Bongo-sponsored party celebrating her show. “Bongo has bathing suits now, which they’ve never had in the past. I think they really wanted to promote that, and since I’m always in a bikini, it just kind of made sense. It was an amazing shoot.” Patridge is a longtime fan of the line, sold exclusively at Kmart and Sears. “I love Bongo,” she says. “My mom used to wear it in the ’80s. It’s been around forever.” More importantly, the reality starlet appreciates how the brand has evolved over time. “It’s not just about the clothing anymore,” she explains. “They have all kinds of apparel, as well as accessories. The clothes are actually cute. I don’t like to just slap my name on something. I like to be involved. I need to like the product, otherwise I’m not going to represent it. It’s great, because I actually get to go to San Francisco and I actually get to give them my feedback.” —Dahvi Shira

Audrina Patridge Bongo Billboard
Courtesy Bongo