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“I’m wearing my party shoes,” actress Rebel Wilson laughed, as she looked down at the fuchsia suede heels she’d chosen to accessorize the hip-hugging black dress from her new plus-size contemporary fashion line, REBEL WILSON X ANGELS, that she donned for the launch celebration Tuesday night in New York.
“Obviously I just feel like plus-size fashion is underserved and, since the average size of an American women is 16 to 18, why aren’t there more brands, more options?” Wilson said as she took a moment before the party started to explain why she jumped full-on into the fashion game with partner The Mamiye Group. The collection debuts at select department stores like Nordstrom, Dillard’s and Lord & Taylor and online next month and will include new deliveries every six weeks. (Retail prices range from $49 to $298.) “Style shouldn’t just stop at size 2 or 4,” Wilson said. “This venture is constantly updating itself so we can create on-trend pieces.”
Wilson said that as an actress, she’s used to working with a stylist and often having custom pieces made for the red carpet or her private life and that’s given her a store of knowledge to share with her potential customers. In fact, her stylist, Elizabeth Stewart, is a consultant on the collection as well. “But then we are also listening to the customers and hearing what they are wanting,” Wilson added. “So we are trying to bring in the things that I would exactly wear and the things that the customers want and they need.” And what she’s finding they’re asking for is occasion dressing.
“They’re a big thing, especially what I call ‘body-con.’ There’s not a lot out there that’s on the more youthful side. There’s a lot of more ‘auntie dresses’ in plus-size,” she said. “I like to present a very confident, youthful energy, and we have a lot of cute dresses that are fitted where they should be fitted. I think that’s why girls relate to me, because I have an inner confidence. I’m not looking to hide people’s figures, I’m looking to celebrate them.”
With a size range from 14 to 24, Wilson said the collection includes innovative lycra-infused denim pieces developed with “cool” new technology and a range of everyday necessities. “I found that people would see me on the Ellen show and be like, ‘Where did you get that from?’ and usually it was just custom-made and they wouldn’t be able to get it. Now I can say, ‘Here’s where you can find it.'”
Wilson, who starts filming her new movie Isn’t It Romantic next week in New York, will make promotional appearances at stores this summer, and her social media hashtag #GetYourRebelOn was prominently displayed at the party. She also wears a number of pieces from the collection, including a colored suede motorcycle jacket, in the upcoming Pitch Perfect 3, which is due out in December.
As her sizable team swirled around her in the line’s signature pale rose pink varsity jackets with “Rebel” emblazoned across the back, she summed it all up: “With plus-size, in this day and age, you’ve got to think of yourself as sexy and awesome and cool. And you should able to buy clothes that fit that.”
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