Brooke Shields is starting to sound like a Seventh Avenue pro. At the QVC event Wednesday night at the Beekman Hotel in New York to introduce her new collection, Brooke Shields Timeless, the actress spoke knowledgeably about fabrics, “upselling,” her love of ponte and third-quarter deliveries, like she’s been doing this her whole life.
“I’m so happy with it. We were styling the models and mannequins yesterday, and today I came in and wanted to make sure the girls felt comfortable. There are so many different ways to wear these clothes,” said Shields, as two models showed off her new line in front of a crowd that included her friend, Bridget Moynahan, the media and QVC executives. The models for the event represented two different sizes, size 8 and size 20.
“You can’t design something petite and make it bigger. You have to have different proportions. There are two separate fit models and two separate fit meetings for every single article. An XXX has to feel as comfortable as an extra small. So much of what we design has spandex in it,” said Shields, who worked with the manufacturer KBL Group International, a New York-based apparel firm, on designing the collection, as reported.
Shields was dressed in a black pencil skirt and chiffon top with chain detail from her new collection. Other looks on display included trench jackets, slim leg jeans, woven tunic shirts with corset details, floral embroidery skirts, embellished Ts and short-sleeve knit dresses, as well as animal print scarves and concave discs on a leather cord necklace.
Asked what it was like to work in this price range (retail prices range from $29 to $109, with the majority between $39 and $69), when she’s accustomed to wearing more expensive clothes, Shields said, “It’s all in the fabrication. What’s amazing is there’s always something, if you dig a little bit deeper. And you say [to the fabric mill], ‘it’s got to be softer, is it bamboo? Is it poly? Is it rayon? Is it charmeuse?’ You just don’t settle for it. It’s like going in the back room, and going, ‘I know you have something in the back room. I know you want to move this, but I know you have it.’ Some things you can afford if you do it at a smaller minimum,” she said. “My mom always used to say, ‘never take no for an answer.’”
As for the process of putting the collection together, she said, “It’s like this interesting, fascinating puzzle I wasn’t aware of.”
Shields said she designed the collection for busy women like herself. “I start my day out as a mom and then do pickup, but in between I’ve got business meetings, I’m going to pitch the next line, I may go to a cocktail party, and then I’ve got a parent-teacher meeting and a basketball game. It was about not neglecting style because I’m busy,” she said. Shields is designing for women who are dressing for themselves, not just to impress somebody else. “I spent decades dressing in other people’s clothes. It’s hard to understand your sense of style if you’re always putting on someone else’s clothes.”
In the meantime, Shields said she won’t be attending any shows during New York Fashion Week because she’s got a packed schedule. “I’m working. I’m doing ‘Jane the Virgin,” and I have to go to QVC on Feb. 15.” She’s said she’s excited to appear on-air at QVC.
“They’re talking to you constantly and you’re looking at numbers and looking at graphs, and have to have your hand on the right place [to show the clothes]. I love it, it’s like a test,” said Shields.
Rachel Ungaro, vice president of fashion buying at QVC, said this was a big launch for the multiplatform shopping experience. “I think it will do amazing. She’s truly authentic and has a definite point of view. Brooke has a natural knack for understanding what the customer wants,” she said.
Ungaro said the collection runs the gamut from extra small to XXX, and everything comes in every size. It will fit women from petite to tall sizes. The plan is to deliver a collection every six weeks.
Shields will tease the collection on QVC on Feb. 15 (7 p.m. EST) and then will do a full hour on March 14. (11 p.m. EST).