Nancy O’Dell is one of the most revered and beloved television personalities in Hollywood, and even with her illustrious on-air gig the Entertainment Tonight co-anchor maintains a powerful backstage presence. Behind the scenes, the multifaceted mom is a producer, philanthropist, entrepreneur and best-selling author, and now she’s adding fashion designer to her resume as she’s readying to launch her new clothing collection later this month.
We were thrilled to catch up with the Emmy Award-winning journalist to find out more about her latest undertaking, and although the busy star maintains a full workload this new venture is a yearning she’s had for quite some time. “I’ve been talking about and wanting to do a clothing line for a very long time,” O’Dell tells Tinseltown Mom. “I have to keep up with all the latest fashion to report on it daily at Entertainment Tonight and I get to play dress-up every day at my job, wearing such fun clothes, so it is such a natural fit for me to do my own line.”
Another organic fit was O’Dell’s collaboration with the digital retailer, EVINE Live, whom she started working with about a year ago. “…Evine is the right company for me to do my clothing with because they are so ‘current’ in the way that people shop. EVINE Live is a shopping destination you can find by tuning in to EVINE Live on the TV channel in your local area the traditional way, but you can also watch the broadcast live online or via mobile app at EVINE.com. So it makes shopping a breeze because you can watch and shop literally at the same time.”
O’Dell wanted to create a line that made it easier for all women to find sophisticated clothes with a “coolness” to them. “There is something that I have really noticed by reporting on celebrity fashion every day. One thing celebrities do very well is to wear elegant, classy clothes, but clothes that also have an edge…their clothes have that something extra, which gives them this cool factor. To find that golden combo, celebrities have access to stylists and to designers directly, but it is hard to simply find that combo in stores. So I wanted to make it easy on women. I didn’t want everyone to have to go to the junior section to try and find a little edge and then have to wonder if the clothing is age-appropriate…I wanted to make it a breeze for all us women out there to let people know we are current, on trend, and like to have fun too!”
It’s apparent the busy star thoroughly enjoys her regular gig of being co-host on TV’s longest-running entertainment news program, but she also admits to always having had a love for fashion and even recalls fun, fond memories of her shopping excursions with her mom growing up. “…when you break it down, fashion is about telling a story. And that is something I have loved doing as a journalist for 24 years now. It is probably the reason I love fashion so much. As far as the styling, you have to think of the pieces of clothing as chapters in a book and the chapters all have to flow together nicely for it to be a beautiful book. On a larger scale, you are essentially telling a part of your story by what you wear because you are showing your personality with your clothes. Think about it…you can really tell what someone is like in real life many times by the clothes they choose.”
Celebrities and fashion go hand-in-hand and O’Dell has seen and interviewed some of the biggest names on the red carpet and beyond, which made us curious about the fashion-savvy celebs she admires. “The celebrities whom I am always waiting to see on a red carpet are Taylor Swift, Halle Berry, Blake Lively, Lupita Nyong’o, Charlize Theron, Kate Hudson, Beyoncé, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lopez. They just seem to get it right all the time. They stun with classiness and sophistication, but they always bring some unusual element to their style, ‘the edge.’”
The fashion designer describes her own collection as elegance with an edge and explains the look in various ways. “…For example, simply adding a rocker-type zipper to an outfit can give it that cool factor. I have a couple of cardigans in the line, which are far from basic sweaters as I made them asymmetrical…asymmetrical clothing is huge on runways this fall. The leggings in my line make your legs look super long because we added this faux leather strip down the side. I also have a feminine top, but it is paired with a metal chain piece. It is the contrast in the soft and hard which gives it the edge. One of the dresses in the line has a formal look, yet we used an athletic mesh fabric. A faux leather vest in the collection has a tailored look but had a soft layer at the bottom. Again, it is adding that unusual element which gives a piece of clothing its chicness. The color palettes are vibrant, rich tones surrounded by edgy blacks and neutrals.”
O’Dell is clearly passionate about her new line and says she was “hugely” involved in the design process. In fact, the first meeting she had with the Evine reps, she spent 3 hours in her closet pulling out clothes and talking about her personal style. “…I approved every single drawing, made notes and sketches on changes to be made, felt and approved the materials and I even chose the exact zippers to be used. They, and I, wanted to make sure I was in love with every piece of clothing in the collection. And I am! In fact you will see me wearing my own line on Entertainment Tonight, so I am excited about that.”
The beautiful star also wanted to make sure this collection was affordable for the average female shopper, something she says was extremely important to her. “All the materials we used look super rich, but the great thing is that they are not expensive. The price range of the pieces in the line is $49-$99. And something else that was very important to me was to have the clothing work for all elements of life. I wanted styles you can wear to work, to a school function, and also out to dinner. So many times people differentiate those three things and you really don’t have to. With my line, the pieces are very versatile, and sometimes just simply changing shoes can completely change the look. So that makes the clothes even more affordable because you can wear them for multiple occasions.”
In addition to O’Dell’s new clothing collection she is the spokesperson for ALS.net, an honor the philanthropist is truly proud to be a part of. Advocating for ALS awareness and research funding is very personal to the TV personality. Her mother, whom she was very close to, was diagnosed with ALS in November of 2007 and passed away from complications related to the disease in June of 2008. O’Dell hopes she can somehow contribute in helping to find a cure so that no other family has to go through what she went through.
O’Dell’s online clothing collection launches the weekend of September 11th and 12th, but, on September 11th you can watch her show the clothing line personally by tuning in to EVINE Live on TV, at 8pm (PT); 10pm (CT); or 11pm (ET), and on September 12th throughout the day. Or, to see where EVINE Live airs in your area, check your local listings or go to Evine.com.