NEW YORK — During the first two weeks of a Destiny’s Child world tour, Tina Knowles has always had a specific job — making sure Kelly Rowlands, Michelle Williams and her daughter, Beyonce Knowles, nail their costume changes in as few as 40 seconds.
“You have to come up with steps, like, ‘one, two, zip’,” Tina Knowles said. “By the time we left Australia, we had the quick changes down — only a couple of times did they go out with their pants unzipped.”
The current tour, the group’s first in three years, began last month and marked a bit of a departure for Tina Knowles. The costumes she was helping the girls navigate were from the House of Dereon collection which, minus a few stagey embellishments, will be available to consumers for this holiday season.
Knowles left the trio after two weeks to return to New York to focus on the House of Dereon.
“We’re working on things as we speak,” Knowles said from the Beyond Productions LLC offices here. Last May, the Knowleses created Beyond Productions with Jason and Arthur Rabin and Cory Silverstein of Wear Me Apparel/Kids Headquarters based here. In January, they signed a licensing agreement with Tarrant Apparel Group, a Los Angeles-based private label manufacturer, to produce a young contemporary sportswear collection. The accord with Tarrant was orchestrated by Beyond Productions. “There’s a lot of energy going on,” Knowles said.
Her experience as the stylist and designer for Destiny’s Child prompted the collection. She and her famous daughter serve as co-creators with Heather Thomson-Schindler, former personal style consultant to Jennifer Lopez and her junior collection, JLo by Jennifer Lopez, and earlier, head designer for Sean John.
“When the girls were just starting out, I had no budget and designed things for them because I wanted them to have extravagant clothes,” Knowles said. “My frustration was that there was no in between: I could go to a high-end designer and spend my whole budget on one girl or buy things that weren’t as hot, in terms of fit, and redesign them.”
House of Dereon, available to consumers in October, will have less “dazzle,” than the onstage costumes Destiny’s Child is wearing, Knowles said. “You have to be bigger than life onstage. I like to have a lot of sparkle onstage because that’s what the person in the 40th row sees,” she said.
There are, however, similarities between the costumes and what will be available in stores.
“The one common thread between the tour, as well as the line, is the detail,” she said. “A lot of great, little details make House of Dereon pieces special.”
“We wanted the details to include a touch of couture — in fact, that’s what I wanted to call the line — because I wanted to include details, like a better fit and top-stitching, that make a couture top,” Knowles said. “I wanted to bring that to the everyday person who can’t afford to spend $5,000 on an outfit. They still deserve to have a touch of that couture look.”
The holiday collection will be a capsule collection including denim. House of Dereon will be divided into two tiers: the black label, retailing in specialty stores, and the purple label, set to roll out in department stores.
“We’re not launching a watered-down version of House of Dereon,” Thomson-Schindler said. “We’re launching two House of Dereon lines. One that is a halo line that can include fur and high-end dresses and the contemporary line for the department store world.”
Jeans in the purple label will likely retail for $110 to $150; jeans in the black label will retail from $200 to $250. The business is expected to generate a wholesale volume of between $30 million and $50 million in its first year.
“The motto of our collection is that everyone is a superstar,” Thomson-Schindler said. “Tina and Beyonce want to create clothing that is attainable. If we were to launch with just a high-end line, we wouldn’t make the goal we set out to do.”
This collection will be followed by a full collection for spring-summer. “We are so excited about that,” Knowles added.
Thomson-Schindler said a “big advertising campaign” is scheduled for the spring-summer collection with Beyonce at the forefront. In addition, a fashion show is slated to launch that collection in September. “Beyonce won’t be in the show,” Thomson-Schindler said. “We’ll need her backstage.”
For Tina Knowles, the primary goal is to make clothes that appeal to people who love fashion — regardless of whether or not they are fans of her daughter.
“We have always been into fashion,” Knowles said of herself and Beyonce. “We want it to be a true fashion line. We don’t want people to buy it only because it has Beyonce’s name on it. I want people to buy it because it’s good quality, and they feel and look good in it.”