Tina Knowles, the guiding sartorial force for her daughter Beyoncé and creator of the stage costumes for the musical group Destiny's Child, has finally designed something for herself.
Miss Tina is a collection of sportswear, denim, sweaters, shoes, handbags and accessories that targets 30- to 50-year-old customers. The line will be sold exclusively on the Home Shopping Network and launches during HSN's fall fashion week, starting Aug. 18.
Knowles and her daughter in 2005 started the House of Deréon label, which is more in tune with Beyoncé's demographic. In an interview, Knowles stressed that Miss Tina is a separate venture from the House of Deréon and Deréon brands.
"In House of Deréon, there's all of my mother's details, smocking and lace details," she said. "House is more delicate. This is definitely me."
That includes the silhouettes and fits. "I love the fact that the sizes go all the way up [2 to 24]," Knowles said. "There's a forgotten woman who wants a pencil skirt, too, or a blouse that's a little lower cut. Beyoncé has backup singers who are full-figured women. Being a woman over 50, I try to think about the things I have going for me and the things I want to hide, like my arms. I'm giving them options with shrugs. I've been a stylist for so many years, I know how to accentuate the positive."
Miss Tina will be sold on HSN for the foreseeable future. "I met with Mindy Grossman [chief executive officer of retailing at Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp., which owns HSN], who is brilliant," Knowles said. "She's been bringing higher-end designers to HSN."
Philip Davis, president and general manager of Beyond Productions LLC, parent of House of Deréon and Deréon, said: "What HSN allows us to do is talk to a segment we haven't directly talked to with some of our other brands. The whole idea of an alternative level of trade and being able to talk to a different customer profile" interests Knowles.
And Miss Tina should boost HSN's fashion quotient. "Every time we've debuted a new partner during the last several months, it has added to the buzz about the transformation taking place at HSN," Grossman said. "There's an energy and excitement that's palpable and people want to be a part of it."Miss Tina will appeal to existing HSN shoppers and attract new ones, Grossman said. "The line is designed for women from their 30s to 50s, who love fashion and appreciate attention to detail and couture fit,'' she explained. "That's a great snapshot of HSN's fashion customer. In addition, Tina Knowles has quite a devoted fan base herself, and we would expect that many of them will come to HSN to see her newest designs."
Interior design, another of Knowles' interests, could lead to a home furnishings collection. "We believe in lifestyle brands and Tina is such a creative and passionate person, so who knows what the future could bring," Grossman said. "We would certainly be open to exploring it."
Knowles said she relishes the prospect of hawking her line on television. "Just to be able to go into all those homes and connect with all those women is great for me," she said. "I love doing makeovers. I want this show to be about educating women about proportionate dressing for their body types and what lengths to wear. That's a big part of the line."
When it comes to fashion, Knowles isn't understated. Miss Tina has "great details, lots of epaulets and antique buttons," she said. "There are bold gold buttons and gold chains, all the things I use when I'm styling. We even developed a Miss Tina crest. I can do some things that are a little over the top. I love animal prints. We were able to design a scarf with leopard and alligator prints and chain and rope designs."
Prices range from $39 for T-shirts to $99 for a cotton sateen jacket with ruffles and gold buttons. A hobo handbag is $250, suede chain link knee boots, $149, and leather elbow sleeve gloves, $79.90.
Davis declined to give sales projections for Miss Tina. "Anything that's successful, you can build momentum upon,'' he said. "This gives Tina increased credibility with consumers and the fashion industry."
The collection offers complete head-to-toe wardrobing. "It's so cohesive, from the shoes to the handbags to the scarves to the accessories, everything is so tied together," Knowles said. "I love knits. We have a long knit jacket with a low-cut tailored sleeveless knit dress. There are tailored suits and T-shirts."Describing the versatility of the products, Knowles said, "We have a cage handbag with three inserts you can put in, gold sequin, leopard and denim."
"I've been working on this for seven months," she said. "It was such a passion. I had so much fun I couldn't sleep. It became a little obsession with me."
The best compliment for the collection came from her daughter: "I brought Beyoncé up the other day and she said, 'Some of this, I would wear'"
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