Emmy-winning, Academy Award-nominated, all-around hilarious actress and designer Melissa McCarthy stopped by Nordstrom on Friday, July 22, to celebrate the launch of her latest collection for Melissa McCarthy Seven7 as well as kickoff the big Anniversary Sale. We had a chance to look crazy in front of her (seriously, I walked in and squealed like Lucille Bluth) as well as get some more info on her life in fashion.
There's a really great movement right now to be more inclusive in terms of fashion and beauty brands, and I think your line emphasizes this. Is this your philosophy for Melissa McCarthy Seven7?
You know, that's the goal [to be inclusive]. I think there is no one way to be a woman; we don’t look the same, we don’t act the same, we don’t lead the same lives and yet we have so many things that we share...but to say that one type of woman is better than another, it seems so unnecessarily negative.
[With my line], I think that with that same amount of work, you can build people up, you can build their confidence and just make them feel good about themselves and it can be as easy as clothing. I think that’s kind of a remarkable thing to do; you can send someone out on their way for the day and they feel really good, and they feel confident like someone cares enough about them to make something of value. I think if you are a little bit kinder to somebody else, there’s a snowball effect that can happen. And I think people are kinder and better to each other when they feel good about themselves.
So when you are designing and creating collections, are you designing for that kind of everywoman slash person, or do you grab inspiration from traveling or working?
Both for that person but also from all over. It's a really fun thing for me—like I’m doing Fall for 2017, so I come up with little stories and the prints will come off of that and some of the silhouettes will then follow. I don’t know if because of my day job, but we think in terms of these full stories—is it romantic, or if Fall 2017 is going to be military, is it G.I. Jane?
It’s kind of fun to build these worlds around it and then they link up. Even if it’s just me that knows what it is [at first], that's kind of how I build a line. Then I keep going; pulling pieces from art, maybe an old picture of Faye Dunaway where she just looked so amazing in a tailored men’s trouser...I take them from so many different places! It can be a piece of music. Thank God for Pinterest; I used to keep binders everywhere, full of tear sheets—but I collect things and I always feel like they usually organically find their way into groupings. Like, you know what, I have 15 different images of military-inspired things, strong lines or masculine tailored looks, and then that’s kind of the jumping off point. Then, what do I think other women want, and what’s going to be versatile for other different body types?
What are the prints for this collection in Nordstrom today?
The [collection] coming into the store now is a lot of celestial prints. I have been looking for a specific print since I was 19, 20 years old—this astrological print. I finally found one, I was in Atlanta shooting and I found these beautiful old prints of old zodiac astrology maps. It set me off on this romantic idea; I just love prints, but I wanted to make sure it stayed modern. This print and some of the florals in the collection look traditional, and I had been looking at frescoes and thinking, even if it’s traditional, I want something to still feel fresh, modern.
So are you in it for the long haul? Is this something you'd like to keep doing?
I love it; it’s the long haul. I really love it! I have so much fun doing it. I’m at every fitting, I wear every piece, and I’m sure there’s an easier way to do it but I’m down on the ground with pins in my mouth. I’m very hands-on, it’s kind of the only way I know how to do things.
Edited to remove moments of this reporter gushing about Spy, Ghostbusters, feminism and how amazing it was to meet Ms. McCarthy.