Melissa McCarthy is hilarious, talented, an Oscar nominee, an Emmy winner and, now, a clothing designer. The actress has announced that she’s launching a plus-sized line of clothing called Pearl, and we’re guessing it’s going to be highly successful.
First, McCarthy is famous. She absolutely killed it in Bridesmaids and has, ever since, made a name for herself as a woman who is funny as hell, able to deliver a joke and do all sorts of physical comedy without missing a beat. (She was known prior to that for her roles on Mike & Molly and Gilmore Girls as well.) A celebrity brand comes out of the gate with an edge.
But she’s also got a personal story to go along with this clothing line: there was a time when she couldn’t find designers willing to design a dress for her. It was two Oscars ago, she tells Redbook, and she needed something for the red carpet. Oscar exposure is usually golden for a fashion label. In this case, McCarthy was turned down by something like half a dozen designers and had to settle for a ready-to-wear dress and a spot on some worst dress lists.
“When I go shopping, most of the time I’m disappointed,” she says.
It’s likely a feeling that a lot of women can identify with. She’s coming at this as not just a designer but a customer.
McCarthy also happens to be trained in fashion design, having studied at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. She’s enlisted her old friend Daniella Pearl for the line.
“By speaking out and thinking entrepreneurially, she’s telling the world that all women deserve the basic respect that comes from being able to find wearable clothing,” writes Salon.
But more than that she’s speaking (if we may use a little PR talk) authentically. This is a business venture that clearly comes from the heart.
And it’s a conversation that we’ve already been having publicly. In the image above, Elle congratulates McCarthy on her new line using the cover image that ran on its “Women in Hollywood” issue. Many thought that putting the actress in a large overcoat was a way of hiding her size.
“What I found so bizarre is I picked the coat,” McCarthy said of the controversy. “I grabbed the coat. I covered up. I had a great black dress on but I thought, it comes out in November.”
We’ve seen and heard lots of complaints from plus-sized customers that the options for them are limited to frumpy and frumpier. This line of clothing is a way to show what McCarthy really likes to wear and to connect with fans and other plus-sized customers with things they want to see as well.