Melissa McCarthy has been hinting at a plus-size clothing line for years, though only recently has she revealed that the designs are starting to take shape. And now, the star has opened up to WWD on exactly what she has planned for her as-yet-unnamed line, which is set to launch in fall 2015.
“I’d been looking for two, three, maybe four years for manufacturers to help us do this line,” she says. “But after we met with Sunrise [Brands, which also owns lines like American Rag and Superdry], we felt they were committed to changing the plus-size game.” For McCarthy, that means launching with casual sportswear next year, and expanding into more accessories, beauty products and a more career-focused, upscale line in 2016 and 2017.
“I always said, ‘Why can’t I find great stuff?’ And Sunrise was up to the challenge … [they aren’t] afraid to shake it up and bring plus-size up to fashion,” she said, adding that her chief goal was to make her line available — both in size, price and access — to all consumers. “I’m doing all sizes. It’s a strange thing to stop at a certain size. Women don’t, so why should clothes?” she said of her collection, which will initially top out at about $118 and be offered online as well as in stores, for shoppers who don’t live near major shopping hubs.
McCarthy hasn’t decided what she’ll call her collection (though says it will likely include her name) or where it will be sold, but she says clothing design has been in her blood for years. (In fact, she moved from her Illinois farm to N.Y.C. to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology, until pal Brian Atwood made her drop out to pursue stand-up comedy.) “It was everything I ever wanted to do,” she says. “I loved the playfulness of fashion. I think maybe that’s why I became an actress. You put on one outfit and feel one way, and another one will make you feel another way. Clothes are a wonderful tool.”
But when she found herself fluctuating between sizes, she realized what was missing in the fashion world. “I’ve been every size on the planet,” she tells WWD. “I have experience dressing me as a 6, a 12 and more. And when you go above a size 12, you don’t lose your love of fashion.” And before too long, we’ll see just how she translates that passion.
For more from McCarthy, visit WWD, and tell us: Are you excited to see the finished results? Any suggestions for a name?