Exclusive: Wendy Williams On Debuting Her HSN Clothing Line: “Fashion Shouldn’t Be Complicated”
To say Wendy Williams is winning is an understatement. The household name media mogul was recently nominated for a Daytime Emmy award and Investigation Discovery just signed Williams to host and executive produce their new network show, Death By Gossip. The Hollywood Reporter says the show will be based on how places such as the gym, office or neighborhood store are great settings for the rumor mill… until there’s a murder.
While Williams has built an empire by being in the know in Hollywood, fans also know her for wearing her staple wrap dresses and pencil skirts, giving her the opportunity to share her closet with the world. By partnering with the Home Shopping Network (HSN), Williams debuted a line of dresses, pants, sweaters and skirts fit for the everyday woman. Proclaiming that fashion should not be complicated during our interview, Williams also shared why launching this line was so important to her. Check it out below!
MadameNoire: Why did you wait to launch a clothing line?
Wendy Williams: I didn’t want to put the cart before the horse. You cannot launch a clothing line six months into starting your talk show. You have to gain accessibility in the households of your viewers. Now my talk show is in 54 countries; it was really hard trying to crack the Midwest demographic! Especially when you’re a city slicker. When you live on the East Coast, you have an entirely different mind-frame than conservative women in the Midwest and the majority of the country is that woman. So after six seasons in and our ratings are better than ever, now was the time to focus on inviting myself into your closets.
MN: Can you tell us about the process you had creating a line with HSN?
WW: The process occurred in New York because that is where my manufacturer was based. I spent a lot time crossing town to work on the clothing line after my daily talk show would air. I spent my time feeling a variety of fabrics and buttons. Or the manufacturer would send things to my office to see what could and could not work. It was so important for me to see real-life women wear my clothes that we would have fashion shows at the manufacturer’s office. I loved every second of it but it was quite the process. I feel as though I’ve given birth!
MN: How will your Home Shopping Network clothing line stand out to your fans?
WW: I decided to not look at the other clothing lines that have been produced by the Home Shopping Network. My style is my style and I don’t know what other celebrities do when they put their names on things. But I know I believe in truthful advertising from saying it how I mean it on my talk show to saying that I love wrap dresses and actually seeing me wear one. My line is 100 percent stuff that I would actually wear especially since I have found my fashion voice. I believe my line has good solid pieces that every woman needs in her wardrobe.
MN: What were the challenges you faced while creating your line?
WW: The biggest challenge was designing for women who are a size extra-small to 3X. One great thing that HSN does is make fashion forward clothing for plus-size women. Those particular women only have a few stores and I wanted to make them feel confident because sometimes plus-size women wear the same outfits because of the limited variety.
As a designer and manufacturer, you do not want to throw away the plus-size consumer because of their size. You want to respect their bodies and figures just like you would respect the average woman’s body size. I think my HSN line has truly captured that. My skirts are tasteful in length, even though I have been known to enjoy a shorter length [laughs]. The colors are vibrant and gorgeous. I know for sure my clothing line will make any woman feel feminine. The fabrics are terrific because there is nothing worse than getting something you paid for and it not be up to par.
MN: What advice do you have for women who want to be like you, “The Jill of All Trades?”
WW: Number one: Not everything that glitters is gold! Be you! One thing I would also pass along to women is have tenacity! Be true to your word because people spot a phony a mile away. You can only fake it but so far before you have a chance to change into a genuine person.