America’s most enduring celebrity fashion collection has a second wind.
Jaclyn Smith, who became an overnight icon by playing Kelly Garrett on the “Charlie’s Angels” television series which ran from 1976 to 1981, has officially relaunched her namesake fashion collection on HSN. For starters, it’s a 10-piece spring line targeting women 35 and older, with classic and on-trend items that can be worn day into night, have stretch characteristics and sizes that fit “real people,” the actress said.
“This is exciting because through HSN, with its broadcast streaming, website, mobile app and social pages, I will have a chance to reach many more people,” Smith told WWD in an interview. “I’ve had a 36-year commitment to my customers,” whom she characterized as being diverse and from all walks of life.
The Jaclyn Smith collection was first launched in 1985 and always sold exclusively at Kmart. Her brand was one of the reasons why Kmart was able to keep operating despite its mismanagement, bankruptcy and constant store closings over the years. Kmart is down to just three stores now, from nearly 2,500 in the mid-’90s.
In its peak years, the Jaclyn Smith collection encompassed women’s apparel, accessories, intimate apparel, footwear, seasonal gifts, bedding, tabletop, decor and furniture, and generated $250 million to $300 million in annual sales. All told over the decades at Kmart, the Jaclyn Smith brand sold more than 100 million items. Her contract with Kmart expired at the end of July 2021, and there was about a yearlong sell-off period.
Though Christmas has just past, Thursday’s timing for the relaunch is still opportune. Consumers last year began renewing wardrobes as they emerged from COVID-19-related, stay-at-home lifestyles and returned to socializing and office settings. But they are pinched by inflation, spending less on discretionary items, and challenged to find fashionable women’s apparel at low prices. With the new Jaclyn Smith collection, “everything in the launch collection is under $100,” said the former Charlie’s Angel.
Smith will appear live as part of HSN’s “Obsessed With Style” show on Saturday during the 8 a.m. hour, again at 1 p.m. and during The List at 7 p.m., most likely wearing her moto jacket. It’s designed in a nubby tweed with fringe around the neck, a rose gold zipper and shoulder pads, and is priced $59.75. “It looks very high-end and very refined,” Smith said.
Asked to cite a few other favorites from the collection, Smith singled out a fully lined bomber jacket with cargo pockets and a drawstring, priced $59.75. “It’s perfect for spring. It takes the chill out but it’s light enough to wear inside. You can wear it open or closed….I am a jacket girl.”
She also singled out a short-sleeved knit textured top, priced $24.75. “It’s my answer to a classic T, but more refined, stepped up, with a wonderful stretch to it.”
Then there’s the cardigan sweater duster with thin vertical stripes and narrow ribbing, priced $42.75. “It’s very flattering, and worn totally open. I like clothes that move with you,” Smith said. “I chose to do vertical stripes, which a lot of people questioned, thinking it makes you look bigger. But done right, it doesn’t have to. I love stripes.”
The collection also features a wrinkle-free safari-patterned, short-sleeve cuffed button-front shirt ($32) and a matching side-tie wrapped skirt ($49.75). Both pieces are available in other colorways and can be mixed and matched. “You can carry the pieces in a bag,” Smith said. “The fabric holds and the sportswear goes from day to night. My goal is to make it wearable.”
The collection runs from size XS to 3X. “We size on real people, not a form. If something isn’t comfortable or doesn’t move with me, or isn’t a stretch, it’s not on the line,” Smith said.
“I’ve never done HSN,” she said. “It’s like I’m going into unknown terrain. But it’s rejuvenating. It steps up my game.” She’ll be describing her new fashion pieces and where she draws inspiration for the collection, including Paris fashion shows she’s attended.
HSN is a big change from her Kmart days, when she did store appearances, television ads and print ads. Now it’s more about streaming and social media. Smith does her own social media, reminiscing about Christmas at her home, her vacations and other aspects of her life. “Social media was hard for me at first because I am so private but you get into it and take joy in other people’s social media. I’ve gotten better at it. The people that follow you over the years want to know about your personal life and your home.”
Nearly four decades since breaking into fashion, she says her philosophy remains the same: to offer a quality brand at an accessible price.
The collection has been rebirthed through a licensing agreement with RDG Global LLC, a major private label supplier to retailers that is located at 550 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan’s Garment District, though the collection was designed and photographed in Los Angeles where Smith lives.
“We really had time to source and develop the fabrics from all over the world. I didn’t have to rush this. It’s a more elevated line, from the fabric choices to the detailing, whether it’s a rose gold zipper or a toggle. The detailing makes the difference. We put a lot of thought into each piece. It wasn’t like doing 100 pieces,” season after season at Kmart.
While officially launching on HSN, unofficially (and quietly) different items under the Jaclyn Smith label have been selling on Nordstrom Rack’s website since the fall, as kind of a trial run helping to gauge the label’s popularity and provide confidence moving forward with HSN. “It’s done very well at Nordstrom Rack with a soft launch,” Smith said. “I’ve built trust, credibility and a following. It’s been a long-term relationship with my customers.”
“Jaclyn’s vision has been brought to life from carefully crafted fabrics and designs that she herself loves to wear,” added Bridget Love, HSN’s general merchandise manager and vice president of fashion, accessories, jewelry and beauty. “HSN continues to take the lead as a pioneer in the live video commerce space by incorporating entertainment, personalities, and industry experts such as Jaclyn Smith.”