It’s a dark Tuesday afternoon, but the other participant in my Zoom call is beaming with a youthful, tanned glow that’s almost overwhelming – it intensifies every time she flashes a smile. I don’t talk to anyone other than the Kelly Rowland, who helps me pick my next hair color for fall. I decide on the blue. “Blue? Well, when I was your age I had blue – and purple, and red, and all the other colors,” she recalls with a big laugh. If you know anything about Rowland’s early days as a third party pop supergroup Destiny’s Child, the hair chameleon was never shy about color, texture, or style. On the red carpet, she takes a similar approach, favoring dresses with intricate details and leg slits in dark or jewel tones. But at home, Rowland is a sucker for a good knit pant or any oversized sweater – no prints or loud colors. This is exactly the type of piece you’ll find as part of its new effort, a full collection of clothing and footwear with JustFab.
The wide range of knits and leathers comes in soft, neutral colors that evoke images of pumpkin spice lattes and vanilla and caramel scented candles. It is not lost on the singer that the muted tones provide solace amid the chaos that is bubbling through the world today.
“I always think about being given an extra day,” she tells me. “When I wake up in the morning, I haven’t finished. I wonder, What should I do today? I am constantly reminded of leading with kindness and doing work, pushing and grinding, having fun through it all. If that person can do it, I absolutely can. How do you make someone feel seen or heard today? “A cozy and comfortable line that makes women feel polished and ready to parade, even if the only avenue they take is from the kitchen to a Zoom meeting, at an extremely affordable price point. That’s how.
While it’s common for celebrities to turn to clothing or footwear collections, a line wasn’t a priority for Rowland for a long time. When the offer was presented to the singer, she pulled out of the equation and put the needs of other women first. The goal was to take the guesswork out of dressing, because who has time to plan an entire outfit as we are in the midst of a global pandemic and state of ongoing political turmoil?
“We thought every woman shared the same feeling as I do: if I still want to feel some kind of glamor in this weird time, what would that be like?” said the hitmaker and the mom-to-be. “There are only a limited number of pairs of heavy jeans and sweatshirts that we can wear. For the collection, we wanted people to feel some sort of luxury without having to spend a lot of money, because we don’t know what’s going to happen. the economy, ”she explains. “We want to do the job for her: be effortless wearing those comfy knit sets or those oversized sweaters or the cool leathers with fun tees that may already exist in your wardrobe. The JustFab woman deserves it.
Rowland’s hands caress the brown kimono sweater she’s snuggled into, which she paired with the Sweater Knit pants for our discussion. “Some days I want to look cool. Other days I don’t want to see my size, ”she laughs. Shoppers, too, can choose to sit comfortably in the Suiting Pocket Cardigan, which comes in a leopard or diamond print, or tuck into the faux leather pants for a “ripped” look.
Then there is the 11 piece shoe collection. Not that Rowland needs another pair. She stumbles before admitting that she has too many shoes to count, and had to clean out her closet to make room for the JustFab shoe collection. And if you’re wondering, the Wren boot is the shoe she would gift Michelle Obama if given the chance. If she could walk a mile in anyone’s shoe, it would be our Forever First Lady’s.
“She’s so gracious, but she could definitely tell you what she is as a wife and mother,” Rowland gushes. “I am in awe of her and intrigued because I find her incredibly awesome.” Michelle Obama wears Rowland’s collection the Black Girl’s magical moment is waiting to happen, but Rowland has gifted black women with these moments her entire career – and especially this year. Take her sultry single “Coffee” and its accompanying visual, a magnificent display of Blackness starring other brunette beauties like her.
Then, of course, there was her cameo in Beyonce’s “Brown Skin Girl” Black is king visual. In it, Rowland and Beyoncé face each other as they sing in unison, “I’ll never trade you for anyone else.” A meme from this moment quickly circulated as a symbol of not only their brotherhood, but also black women celebrating each other at a time when we are fighting to be seen, heard and respected. Rowland’s heartwarming smile dissolves when I ask for the weight of these three words –Girl with brown skin– deal with our current state of unrest.
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“Not protected enough, that’s what it means to be today,” she said. “But also strong and resilient. We’ve been through so much and I don’t think we give each other enough credit. We live in this beautiful brown skin. [and] must realize how golden it really is; we don’t need to be watered down or downsized for anyone. Songs like “Brown Skin Girl” are history, but we have to keep rewriting the rest of our story. You have artists like my sister B, you have writers like [Lovecraft Country‘s] Misha Green and Lena Waithe telling these new stories. When we tell our own stories, they become this incredible blanket of legacy and hope. “
Black women constantly struggle with stigma and tropes. We are the aggressor when we are assertive and confident. We are expected to save everyone even if no one comes to our defense (see Megan Thee Stallion’s editorial “Protect Black women”). Rowland’s fame has never isolated her from societal prejudices, especially constant comparisons to her Destiny’s Child counterparts. But she ends our conversation with a hopeful reminder. “People will try to identify certain things to pit us against each other or to instill doubt in us because we are so strong,” she says. “Women are the fiercest creatures on the planet.”
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