every once in awhile, an extraordinary email lands in your inbox—like the one i received from marlo thomas’ team several weeks ago. they wanted me to interview the marlo thomas: iconic actress—four emmys, a peabody, a golden globe, and grammy—author, and activist, awarded the presidential medal of freedom. this amazing and tireless woman recently added another notch to her belt: she’s a fashion designer with the launch of that woman ready to wear and accessory collection on HSN.
her label is a take on that girl—the classic t.v. series that ran from 1966 – 1971. and believe me, this girl never missed an episode because who didn’t want to be that girl? (which i might add was quite a feat back in the day when families only had one television perched in the living room.) luckily, my older brother never once put up a fight to watch the smart and funny ann marie who marlo brought to life week after week.
i still have vivid recollections of the outfits she wore: her character was a fashionista with her white go-go boots, fishnet stockings, and mini skirts, especially at the time when most t.v. women were seen in house dresses and peter pan collars. the story goes her co-producers were scared fashionable clothes would date the show, but as executive producer, marlo could and did make wardrobe decisions—decisions that impacted her audience. “People would tune in just for the clothes,” she said. (ahem, people like me.)
last week, i sat down with marlo in her lovely penthouse apartment overlooking central park. even with that amazing view, it was marlo herself that captivated me as she shared what prompted her to dip her toe into the fashion industry and her ultimate vision for that woman.
for years, marlo has been asked to start a fashion line, always turning the requests down. until now. so what prompted the 78-year-old actress to try her hand at fashion design? “sometimes when i’m out shopping, i look at things with bare midriffs, and i think is anybody thinking about me?'” if marlo couldn’t find clothes that she liked—clothes that fit well, were feminine and lady-like—weren’t there millions of other women who felt the same way? (can i hear an amen, ladies?)
marlo also pointed out that not every woman wants to show off every one of their body parts. so, she made certain her cold shoulder sweater had straps wide enough to keep your bra on. marlo hated the fact that strapless bras and sweaters don’t always look so great if you saw a big dent. “I’m thinking of all the things that bug me about clothes,” she said.
marlo started the line from scratch, dipping into the archives of dresses from her popular t.v. show. anyone recognize the navy blue dress with racer stripes? it’s a modified version of the one she wore 40 years ago. marlo was determined to bring color into her line—bright colors like pink and turquoise. colors that make you feel happy and confident. like me, marlo is a firm believer that when you look good you feel good. and that life isn’t over at 40 or 50 or any age for that matter.
anyone wondering where you can buy that woman? well, the 15 piece collection composed of dresses, tops, pants, skirts, and jewelry is available through HSN. is it affordable? i’m glad you asked. prices range from $39.50 for a choker; $79.50 for a lace-up sweater; and $169.90 for a perforated moto jacket. sizes range from XS-3X.
“so what’s next for the clothing line?” i asked. it looks as if an active wear line is on marlo’s wish list. but she’d love to hear your thoughts. what would you like to see next? now’s your chance to share your ideas with a woman who believes in empowering and supporting women. a woman who believes clothes should help us feel feminine and sassy and works for all ages.
marlo, thank you for a delightful afternoon!