During the course of the night, which included a private dinner, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams were among the other Ellen admirers who filed through the 57th Street store. Appropriately, Friday Pink debuted a new theme song on DeGeneres’ talk show — “Today’s the Day.”
This story first appeared in the September 12, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“It’s like a brand new year that I’m kicking into because I’ve been a comedian, I’ve been an actress. I’m a talk show host — that’s easy for me. I can do that in my sleep. This is a whole new challenge. It’s exciting and I’m learning a lot.” DeGeneres said. “As far as managing my time, I love clothing, and I love design, and I love houses. And I love fashion. So it’s not really an effort, it’s more fun.”
Standing beside her wife Portia de Rossi, DeGeneres said getting into fashion was even more of an undertaking than expected. “For sure, because it’s also going to be much bigger than I ever imagined. We just did this deal with Camuto [Group] for shoes, we’re going to do men’s wear and we’re going to go into furniture,” the Emmy winner said. “I kind of want to do anything lifestyle.”
Translation? That means DeGeneres is taking lots of meetings, reviewing products, tweaking, doing vision boards and photographing “everything that I’m attracted to.” Her business partner Chris Burch could attest to that, having recently spent five days with DeGeneres on a shopping/exploratory tour of Paris. “Ellen is like literally the most on-it, exciting, passionate person in every category. Her taste level, creativity, desires and curiosity are awesome. She is always sending pictures. She always wants to do a tweak, a twist to a shoe or clothing but it’s got to be true to who she is. She and Marisa [Gardini] talk every day. When I got into business with her, I knew how great she was. But I had no idea the attention and the creativity she would bring to this thing.”
Apparently, DeGeneres’ tirelessness is inherent. “I don’t have an off button any way, so it’s hard for me to switch off anything — no matter what. I’m always lying in bed going, ‘Uh, I should have done this or I need to do that.'” she said. ” It’s really hard for me to kind of shut down. So that works in my favor, I guess, or at some point it may work against me. But right now it’s just who I am.”
King could relate given her two main gigs — “CBS This Morning” host and O Magazine editor at large. “I’ve been up since 3:30 this morning. That’s my God-dreadful schedule and I’m just trying to stay in the upright position,” she said. “I came to pay my respects and then I’m going. I really try to be home by nine [p.m.], but I’m not going to make that tonight.”