There’s nothing like four-foot-nine force of nature Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi to get the crowds buzzing at WWDMAGIC. The star of “Jersey Shore” and “Snooki & JWOWW” made an appearance at the women’s apparel trade show in Las Vegas last week to promote SnookiLove, her new juniors sportswear brand priced from $19.95 to $99.95 that is manufactured by Double Zero and created with its chief designer, Jason Kim.
WWD discussed its launch with Snooki and Kim for a few minutes at the show.
WWD: What did you want to do with your clothing line?
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi: I always dreamed of having my own sportswear. I feel like any girl would say that. We all love clothes. I would always go shopping and be like, “I love this top, but maybe I could tweak it a little bit and make it my own,” so that’s exactly what I did with my line.
I got a lot of inspiration just from Googling or going shopping and taking pictures and going, “How could I make this my own?” I worked with Jason; he is a great designer. I didn’t want it to be just the Snooki clothing line. I wanted it to be a little different. So, SnookiLove is really cute and it’s inviting and welcoming. All my lines are like my personality: They are fun; they are outgoing; they are sexy, but not slutty.
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WWD: What should a woman going on a date wear from SnookiLove?
N.P.: I did make these awesome skirts. I’m into skirts right now. I used to be into tight leopard dresses, but I kind of grew up from that. So, I think that sexy is not showing too much. I used to wear things up to here [gesturing to the top of her thighs,] but now it’s right above the knee.
WWD: What are your other favorite pieces from the line?
N.P.: I wanted to incorporate a lot of crop tops and easy, fun tops to wear when you don’t want to dress up. As a new mom, I never dress up anymore. I never put on makeup. I just put on leggings and a top. You want to be comfortable.
WWD: Is there anyone you emulate when trying build a successful celebrity brand?
N.P.: I have always looked up to Jessica Simpson. Obviously, she’s a singer, but I fell in love with her on “Newlyweds” because she showed the real side of herself. She’s quirky and ditzy like I am, and she’s just herself and she doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Then, she started with her shoes and her bags, and, all of a sudden, Jessica Simpson’s line is huge. It’s amazing. I wear her stuff all the time. She’s someone I really look up to in terms of branding herself and having a successful clothing line.
WWD: How is your style different today from when you were first on “Jersey Shore?”
N.P.: When I was first on “Jersey Shore,” I was 21. That was the time to rebel, go crazy and not have any worries. I dressed provocatively and I went crazy and, you know, I feel like everybody does that, they just don’t have cameras following them. I have evidence, actually. Once I had Lorenzo, I always pictured myself to be this responsible, fit, healthy mother and I just changed. I transformed myself into who I am today for my son and for myself, because, obviously, I want to be healthy and fit, but it was mainly for my son. Now, I just dress — I wouldn’t say classy because classy is not me at all — but somewhere near there.
WWD: What’s going on with your MTV show “Snooki & JWOWW?” Is it going to get picked up again?
N.P.: We are hoping. As of right now, it didn’t get picked up, but I’m pretty sure MTV is going to want to see my wedding and Jenni is pregnant right now. She is five months. So, I feel like they are going to want to see that. There’s no word right now, but I think there will be another season.
WWD: Do you have your wedding dress already?
N.P.: I do. I actually got two dresses because I feel like everybody’s doing that. Why not? I’m only getting married once, this is it. He’s my man. I know that we are going to be together forever and he’s my best friend. My dress for walking down the aisle is very traditional and then for my reception dress, you can take off the skirt. So, if you want to dance, you don’t have to carry this big dress around. I’m excited.
WWD: What advice have you given Jenni on how to dress her baby?
N.P.: Don’t even bother getting nice clothes. Lorenzo never wears nice clothes unless it is a holiday. He is always in sweats. You know, he is a kid. He gets dirty all the time, so you don’t want to spend all that money on expensive, nice clothes that are going to get dirty. So, I told her to get nice slacks and that’s it.
WWD: What was the process like of designing this line with Snooki?
Jason Kim: At first, I didn’t know Nicole would work so hard at what she did. Nicole would sometimes give me collections of photos that she cut out from magazines during her free time. When I said collections, I meant hundreds of pictures at once. I would be overwhelmed with work designing, but I would have to go through all the pictures that she got so I could see the styles and concept that she was going toward. So, that’s how we worked together. Every time I designed, I sent her the concept, and she approved it.
WWD: People recognize Snooki for the flashy clothes she has worn in the past. Is that how this line is?
J.K.: The line is calmed down. Yes, there are the zebra prints and leopard prints that she loves, but, also, if you look at the clothes she’s wearing today, they are very classy. It’s not the party-going, let’s-get-drunk clothes. It is more classy and it matches her very well right now. She’s a mother. She doesn’t play, and she cares for her baby. She’s more grown up.
WWD: Did you watch “Jersey Shore?”
J.K.: I have only watched some episodes. I haven’t seen a full season.
WWD: So, you didn’t know about Snooki before you started working on SnookiLove.
J.K.: I was in China. I was just studying Chinese and fashion there. I didn’t get to really watch American TV, so that’s why I missed out.
WWD: What are some of the standout pieces from the SnookiLove repertoire?
J.K.: The prints and the laces are what she loves the most. What she is wearing today, the lace skirt, is one of her favorites and also one of my favorite pieces. Some of my other favorites are a leopard print chiffon dress, the leopard print cardigan and the tiered top that she’s wearing.
WWD: What are your goals for SnookiLove?
J.K.: I wish that we would sell it globally. It’s every designer’s wish that everyone wear what they design.
WWD: What about places — China might be one of them, if your experience is any indication — with people who haven’t heard of Snooki?
J.K.: That’s when our designs are really going to stand out and get known.