Olivia Culpo held court Wednesday morning at ABC Cocina, where she introduced her new Express x Olivia Culpo collection.
The collection is Culpo’s take on power dressing and street style and emphasizes “GRL PWR,” which is emblazoned on some of the pieces. It’s essentially a wardrobe capsule for the girl on the go.
Discussing how she got together with Express, Culpo told WWD, “It was a pretty organic meeting. I worked with Express before on a few one-off things. I personally was always inspired to design things that are appropriate for the everyday girl at an appropriate price point so that anybody can wear it and feel good.”
The collection is inspired by “GRL PWR” and comes in XXS to XXL and 0 to 18.
The Express x Olivia Culpo collection hit 300 stores today, as well as online at Express.com/OliviaCulpo. The line is the first in a series of capsule collections (with other collaborators) that will be revealed by Express throughout 2019. Culpo’s collection is made up of 32 pieces, ranging in price from $35 to $138. The collection includes blazers, biker shorts, jumpsuits, sweats, sequin dresses and female empowerment T-shirts, in a palette of black and white, with pops of red, pink and yellow.
The line was created in collaboration with Reunited Clothing, LLC.
“The robust assortment offers empowering fashion choices while remaining true to Olivia’s signature style,” said David Kornberg, president and chief executive officer of Express.
Culpo said she was totally involved in the design process. She said the collaboration is a one-season deal.
Culpo is no newbie when it comes to design. She previously had a collection with Le Tote, and has done collaborations with Marled for a collection for Revolve, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus, with her name on it. In fact, Culpo said she’d like to do her own collection someday.
“I’m really enjoying the process of these collaborations because it’s really giving me an opportunity to really practice and find out what the girl wants, and that’s what my priority is. Attaining all the information that I can to make the right decisions down the line,” she said.
Asked whom she has in mind when she was designing this collection, she said, “The girl I’m designing for is me. I grew up with a passion for fashion, but I was a very savvy shopper. I didn’t really have the desire or the capability to spend a ton of money on clothes, so I had to choose wisely and I had to find things that were at affordable price points. Everything that I design is inspired in that way. I know what it was like to look through a rack and always have to wait for a sale, or a 10 percent discount because there was a hole in it or something. You don’t always have to spend a pretty penny to get a pretty outfit.”
She said she’ll be traveling to L.A. with the collection, in addition to her New York appearance Wednesday night at the Madison Avenue store.
Culpo maintains a strong social media presence including 3.6 million followers on Instagram and 234,000 followers on Twitter.
Meantime, the actress, model and designer (and former Miss Universe) recently wrapped up a TV show called “Paradise City,” based on a movie she did called “American Satan.” She just got back from Japan, and next up for her is fashion month. She has a few opportunities for walking the runway, but said, “It kind of depends what I can squeeze into the schedule. I’m debating if I can make it work. I do walk every season in one show or another.” She said she’ll make that decision at the last minute.
Other recent projects were starring roles in the film “Reprisal,” and “Model Squad,” a docuseries on E! which followed models as they navigated the fashion industry and life in New York City. She also appeared in Sports Illustrated’s 2018 swimsuit issue.
As for what she loved most about the design experience with Express, she said, “For me, with this round of designing, I realize how important it is to be very, very specific and be pretty unapologetic in your request when it comes to fit. Because it’s difficult to articulate exactly what you want. It’s definitely given me the opportunity to work on my communication skills and putting myself in the shoes of the consumer.”
And speaking of shoes, does she have a desire to do more accessories?
“I would love to do accessories, another area that’s interesting is beachwear, swimwear and athletic wear,” she said.
Asked about her next design project, Culpo said, “There are collaborations in the works, but nothing I can talk about yet.”