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Katie Holmes 'Isn't Afraid to Fail' in Fashion

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In an exclusive interview published today in WWD, Katie Holmes announces her next move: her first-ever cosmetics deal. It’s a big boon for the actress, who split from husband Tom Cruise in late June.

As the brand’s first celebrity face, Holmes will begin appearing in Bobbi Brown’s ad campaign next spring. By the following fall (2013), her name will appear on a capsule collection of color cosmetics. The multi-year partnership, according to WWD, is estimated to be worth between $2 million and $3 million.

The deal came about just two months ago, after Holmes and Brown were introduced by a mutual friend. “We bonded,” Brown tells WWD. “And then it was, ‘Oh my God, you would be the perfect face for Bobbi.’ We weren’t looking for a celebrity, just a cool, amazing woman who would fit with our brand. And she’s just ridiculously naturally beautiful.”

“This is my first foray into beauty products and the evolution of a look,” says Holmes, who shares an easygoing style philosophy (and Midwest upbringing) with Brown, who made her name with her clean, easy-to-use products.

The beauty contract marks another step for Holmes as she builds her résumé in the fashion and style industry. Next up, she’ll present her ready-to-wear line, Holmes & Yang, on Sept. 12 at Lincoln Center in one of the most buzzed-about shows of the season. And not surprisingly, Brown will be doing the makeup for the presentation.

While she’s excited, Holmes admits she’s still learning the ropes of Fashion Avenue — especially when visiting store buyers for the first time.

“When you go in and you show your clothing, you think that they’re going to buy the whole collection,” she tells WWD with a laugh. “And when they don’t, you’re like, ‘What do you mean? It all goes together. So what do we do with this?’ So that was new, but I think that’s kind of a life thing — ‘What, you don’t want all of me?'”

Katie Holmes
Stephen Lovekin/Style/NBCU/Getty

Whether discussing her fashion line or her upcoming acting projects, Holmes says her goal is to keep trying something new, and not “being afraid to fail.” “Who cares?” she says. “At least you tried. It’s usually the people who haven’t tried who are the naysayers.”

At the moment, Holmes is trying to integrate herself into the tight-knit New York fashion industry; on Wednesday night, she was on hand at the 9th annual Style Awards at Lincoln Center (left), presenting Carolina Herrera with the designer of the year award.

The two chatted backstage before the show, Holmes posing for photos with Herrera, who told the actress she wore her Carolina Herrera ensemble “very well.” Before leaving the venue, Holmes stopped to talk to Smash star Katharine McPhee, telling the starlet, “You look gorgeous.”

A source who saw Holmes told PEOPLE that “she seemed like she was in a great mood. Everybody knows she loves fashion, so she was happy to be here.” Catch the Style Awards next Friday, Sept. 14, on the Style Network, and hear more from Holmes (she reveals her love of a major pop star!) in the clip below.

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–Elizabeth McNeil, with reporting by Charlotte Triggs