Actress and model Brooke Shields is always doing a juggling act. A cast member of hit TV shows “Jane the Virgin” and “Law & Order: SVU,” she also serves as spokesperson for La-Z-Boy furniture. Now Shields, who has walked down countless runways over the decades, is turning the fashion tables with her launch of her own collection — “Timeless” — sold on multiplatform retailer QVC.
While 52-year-old Shields admitted she doesn’t draw or sketch, she’s clearly the muse behind the line. “I have no artistic ability, but have a very clear vision of shape and proportion and versatility of clothing.” She said. “My idea of a long dress versus a shorter [style], a trouser versus a jean or the perfect-weight blouse, blazer or good leather piece — there are certain things I‘ve always remained very loyal to and comfortable in.”
“Comfort” is a word Shields uses often, especially when it comes to her footwear. “I have so many shoes, I’ve lost count,” she said. “I’ll buy everything from the lowest-end brand if they’re comfortable. I just got a knee replacement, so I have to be really comfortable standing on my feet. And since I have dancer’s feet, they’re really not pleasant [looking] in any way.” While Shields still craves a pair of 4-inch heels, struggling through the pain of wearing them isn’t always feasible. “A lot of the time when you see me on the red carpet and I’m wearing a killer heel, I can guarantee you in my purse is a pair of little flats,” she said.
In an exclusive interview with FN, Shields talks about cultivating her style, designing for today’s busy woman and what she forbids her daughters to wear.
How do you describe your personal style?
“That was the hardest thing for me to define over the years. I never had a chance to cultivate much of my own style because each day it was about putting on this designer’s clothes or representing that character. [It] became more persona-based than personally-based. Not until I did the TV show “Lipstick Jungle” that I started to feel comfortable with the classics — styles that harken back to a different era and time, yet updated a bit. I like to mix very [casual] and traditional classic looks with slightly contemporary, whether its jewelry or accessories.”
Who is your target customer with “Timeless”?
“[My] customers are women in their 30s to 60s who are busy and have different facets to their lives. They want to feel good in their clothing but not [have it be] effortful. But I don’t want people to just look the way I choose to style something. They might take a dress of mine and put a blazer over it or tie a white button-down [shirt] or use a colorful belt. I want people to feel these are pieces that can work with their personal aesthetic.”
What’s been the biggest challenge in selling your line in real time on-air?
“[Something] I’ve been exposed to when doing the “Today” show, “The View” or “The Talk” is [the show’s crew] talking in my ear nonstop. [However], at QVC, you’re also watching two screens, talking constantly, making sure you’re looking into the right camera and [allowing] enough time to show a [design] detail. So much was going on, I felt like I was [experiencing] a runner’s high. You [need to] identify with the customer and address them as you would a girlfriend. I had to be comfortable with continually talking about the item and myself while not feeling self-indulgent. The hour goes by in a split second because there’s so much going on. The co-hosts are so proficient, and everyone really enjoys being there.”
Do you plan to add shoes to your line?
“It’s an absolute priority, but quality control [is key]. So easily, things can be made cheaply and can fall apart. Fabrication of clothing is equally as important. QVC has a very stringent quality control. I’ve also been spoiled by well-made shoes by spending so much time in Italy and France, you just you know what a good-quality shoe is. I cannot [compromise]. I would be so embarrassed.”
How important is comfort when it comes to footwear?
“If you want to wear an edgy shoe, all the power to you. But I know I can’t stand in them for long or walk too far. If I have to get out of a car, fine. But I’m always going to make sure I have something [along] that allows me to function. It has nothing to do with age but with lifestyle. I think you do hit a certain age and [become] tired navigating a hundred things, [especially] if you have a family, job and trying to be a wife, friend or human being. But we can’t allow people to become lazy and just wear sweatpants, flip-flops or sneakers. It’s easy to do if you’re not as fit as you used to be or a slightly larger size.”
Are there any fashion rules you impose on your daughters?
“No midriff showing. I don’t need to see their stomachs. And no leggings on airplanes. I’m from an era when you cleaned up a little bit. If you wanted to wear stuff [like that], you brought it [along] and changed on the plane.”
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