Singer, actress, and erstwhile pageant queen Vanessa Williams has taken her first steps into the fashion world, purportedly fulfilling a lifelong dream.
According to People, Williams “always wanted to be a designer. [She] worked retail in high school (at a store called Current and Casual), went on to adore intricate pageant gowns as Miss America in 1984 (her winning dress is store at Syracuse University), and turned into a power dresser on TV” as she portrayed characters Wilhelmina Slater and Renee Perry on Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives, respectively.
Now her first line of clothes, an 18-piece collection entitled V. by Vanessa Williams, is available for purchase on the Evine home shopping network. Her inspiration, she explains, derives from the evolving relationship one has with her body. And with everything priced at $100 or less, V. by Vanessa is intended to be an affordable and versatile option. Fifty-two herself, Williams especially hopes her clothes will appeal to women in the 40-plus demographic.
“My friends and I complain about bra fat and loose arms,” Williams tells People. “We’ve got a couple areas that we want to cover.” Bodies change, she remarks, and with each decade fashion must meet new needs:
“Gone are the days when you’re 20 and you can just wear a little spaghetti strap thing and everything’s perky and up by itself. I’ve gone through my 30s, 40s, and 50s, and my body keeps changing with every decade. Yes, I’ve got bra fat and love handles. It’s a constant struggle. So, my view is don’t give up the fight, keep it moving, embrace where your body is going, and then dress accordingly.”
Williams emphasizes, however, that she does not want her clothes to “disappear” women. “Overall, the pieces are complementary to the areas we are trying to hide,” she says. “We don’t want to mask them and we don’t want to disappear in loads and loads of fabric and look like we’re wearing a muumuu. I want women to look the best they can.”
Noble cause, Vanessa! But one question: what if you like muumuus?