NEW YORK — In the case of Beyoncé, mom clearly knows best.
“When my mom got out of the meeting with Kids Headquarters, she called me and said she had a really great feeling about them,” Beyoncé Knowles, the entertainer and actress, told WWD in an interview on Tuesday. “They have over 30 years’ experience in fashion and they have done some great things. It’s perfect,” she said, describing the fashion deal she and her mother, Tina Knowles, signed with the New York-based company.
There is still no final name for the brand, although Beyoncé said she is leaning toward A Touch of Couture. She also said the company will most likely start with a collection of jeans-driven apparel for the junior customer and eventually develop into a full lifestyle brand that will include a higher-end line, children’s apparel and accessories.
Kids Headquarters is one of the largest privately held designers and marketers of children’s apparel in the U.S., with sales exceeding $700 million. It creates children’s merchandise for such brands as Kenneth Cole, Timberland, Rocawear, Ecko Unlimited, Skechers U.S.A., Nickelodeon and The Walt Disney Co.
Under the deal, the Knowleses are partners with Arthur and Jason Rabin, co-founders of Kids Headquarters, for a new fashion label bearing Beyoncé’s name. Kids Headquarters here will provide the infrastructure for licensing and brand management, while the Knowleses will play an active role in the creative direction and inspiration for the collections.
“My mom met with a lot of people over the months,” Beyoncé said during a lunch break from filming “The Pink Panther” in lower Manhattan. “I was clear that I wanted to work with people who had a lot of experience in the industry.”
News of a deal was first reported in WWD Tuesday.
The entertainer is ready and eager to launch her first collection, especially after getting a taste of the fashion industry firsthand when she and her mother made the rounds at New York and Milan Fashion Weeks in September.
“I would love to do my own show,” said Beyoncé. “I was talking to my mom when we were finalizing the deal and I said we have to do a show. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing those fierce models walk in those clothes. Wow. I would love that.”
But first things first.
“Hopefully, we will have the line ready and in stores by next year,” she said. “It will be completely based on my style and what I wear. I just want it to be more accessible so that other people can wear it, too. I am inspired by so many designers. [Roberto] Cavalli is one of my favorites, but I also love Marc Jacobs, and Badgley Mischka has some of the most beautiful gowns I have ever seen. I could go on and on about the designers I love.”
Beyoncé’s new line will join a crop of other celebrity collections, including Sean John, Fetish, Rocawear, JLo by Jennifer Lopez and L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani.
Beyoncé said she has always had a deep appreciation for fashion and, because of the nature of her work, her appreciation has gotten stronger over the years. So she understands why so many entertainers want to get into fashion.
“We are exposed to so much fashion because of what we do — fashion shoots for magazines, we go to the [fashion] shows, we build relationships with the fashion world — so if we are going to wear other people’s clothes on the red carpet, then why can’t they be our own?” asked Beyoncé.
And she said she will make sure the line is done to her liking, piece by piece.
“I have to approve everything,” she explained. “Sure, I’m busy with a lot of projects, but I am passionate about this and when I am passionate about something, I will make sure I see it. I will make the time. It has my name on it. I need to make sure it’s right. But also, my mom will have a big part in the line. I am so lucky to have her because my mother knows me better than anyone in this world. I trust her with everything I do.”
Jason Rabin, president of Kids Headquarters, was unavailable for comment, but said in a statement, “Over the years, we have enjoyed many successful collaborations with creative companies and dynamic individuals, but this venture is particularly exciting for us because we are working as a team to create a brand from its very inception. Beyoncé is a world-class entertainer, known and followed by fans all over the globe. She has great style and brings her own natural beauty to the project. This is a winner from the start.”
With an impressive résumé in the entertainment industry ranging from leading roles in such films as “Austin Powers in Goldmember” to “The Fighting Temptations,” Beyoncé is also an award- winning singer, picking up honors from the Grammy Awards, American Music Awards and the prestigious NAACP Image Awards. When she won the 2001 ASCAP Pop Songwriter of the Year Award, she became the first African-American woman — and the second woman ever — to receive the honor.