Lauren Conrad has kept a low TV profile since she ended her reality TV days of MTV's "Laguna Beach" and its spinoff "The Hills." And she's not itching to get back in that spotlight.
"I only ever got to tell half my story," Conrad told Marie Claire, which she covers in the July 2013 issue. "People are very quick to judge these days, especially behind the anonymity of a screen name. It's very easy to say, 'I hate her, I hate what she wore, she seems mean.' But you're only seeing a small fraction of her life."
The 27-year-old fashionista has launched several clothing lines, including LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl's, and penned eight books, which landed her on the New York Times bestseller list. Her latest book is "Infamous," which is meant to tell her whole story, not just part of it.
"There is always gonna be a little bit of ... negativity, which just comes with the territory," she said. "You realize it doesn't matter. It's so simple, but it's a very hard lesson to learn. At the end of the day, it doesn't really affect you in any way."
And while her former costars Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt and Jason Wahler have been busy making less than savory tabloid headlines, Conrad has kept a cool head and has pursued what she wanted, and said she is glad she didn't need to remain on the small screen to achieve success. She said that she hasn't seen her newly married frenemy Kristin Cavallari "in years, maybe."
Conrad remains a public figure without dishy TV shows and questionable celebutante behavior. She also insists that she's over the L.A. club scene.
"It feels done for me. I'm OK with it being done," she said. "I destroyed my voice when I moved to L.A. There are polyps all over my vocal chords because I was in a lot of loud places. If you listen to the first episode of 'Laguna,' my voice is completely different."
"I hoped I didn't [have to stay on TV]," she added. "Everybody told me to stay on TV. Nobody wanted me to leave."
Though she was employed by MTV, she still pursued her love of style, attending classes at L.A.'s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and interning at Teen Vogue during "The Hills." She said she's more than happy to keep her distance from reality TV, save for her penchant for watching "real estate porn" on HGTV.
"Lauren wasn't a great student -- she wasn't that interested," her father, Jim Conrad, an architect, told the Marie Claire. "We figured out along the way that she was an artist and her real love was fashion."
She's made that work for her. With more than 3 million Twitter followers and an active Instagram account, Conrad seems to showcase her work more than her personal life.
The Marie Claire interview sets the scene with her browsing the Rose Bowl flea market with interviewer Ned Martel. She's gearing up to launch her e-commerce site in September. It's called the Little Market, which she's launching with Human Rights Watch advocate and friend Hannah Taylor Skvaria. The site will sell crafts made by women globally.
"We've been to Bali and El Salvador and Africa and India and Nepal," Conrad said. "Hannah is good about educating me about not just the beautiful places we go to but also the issues people there face. I think when you've been fortunate, you have a moral obligation to do things for others."
In a candid moment with the magazine, the California girl opened up about her relationship with boyfriend William Tell, 32, the ex-Something Corporate musician whom she met through a friend on Valentine's Day 2012.
"It's the first time I'm with someone and I'm not explaining things. He also has experience in the entertainment industry, so he understands a lot of things that people don't always get."
"My friends make fun of me because I collect teacups and saucers," she said. "Inside, I'm like 80."
They also talked about her forays at the Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena and about from where she draws her visual inspiration.
"The quirkiest little things I love," Conrad said. "I do it a lot for inspiration for my lines, I love things that feel found or there's just a little bit of charm to them. Especially for your home or something you're going to wear, you don't want it to look like everything else."
The full Marie Claire article hits newsstands June 18. "Infamous" launched Tuesday.