"When I first began, I had no clue how intensive the design process would be."
Iconique reporter Daphne Woo talks to hit singer Anastacia about her new clothing line.
The interview moderator gives us the go ahead, and I begin by thanking Anastacia for her time and this opportunity to speak. I tell her Iconique Fashion Magazine is happy to feature her and this exciting collaboration with S.Oliver. Her voice is warm, deep and personable.
If you could describe the ethos or theme behind your line, what would it be?
Anastacia by S.Oliver has been created for a variety of people. Teenagers and grandmothers alike all qualify as consumers of this collection, which is comprised mainly of jeans, tees, and blouses – all the basics. Although the designs are not super trendy, they are current, and because they are intended for mass-market consumption, it’s about creating designs that pose an obtainable ideal. One all types of women can relate to.
What kind of woman can wear your line, and what can she expect from it?
Each year, Anastacia by S.Oliver will turn out 10 collections. Every month, approximately 60% of the collection will change. New season-based entries allow for a high rotation which means that the clothing varies with the time of year. To begin with, we’ll see a soft rose-colored palette. Come September and October, browns and reds to suit Autumn will enter into the mix, with a popular color interspersed here and there.
Describe the collaborative process between yourself and S. Oliver. What were some of the challenges you faced?
The collaborative process occurred in waves. Both parties had to learn about Anastacia’s involvement as an artist, and as a designer. For S.Oliver it was about recognizing that I was coming into this with a lack of knowledge. I was very weary about my time commitment and not devoting all of my time to this – a full time job is not what I want is what I made clear. The team would meet bi-monthly for approximately 3 days each time, to plan and work through designs, which was a better approach than working every single day. Eventually, they got a great rhythm started as they began to understand me – although it took a lot of hiring and firing to get to the right team, which they have now. And on a personal note. My love life and friendships went on in the background amidst all of this!
As someone with global reach, was there a pressure to find an overarching concept that could suit a large variety of people?
In creating a fashion line for all women, it was about working with universal standards as a basis and including some pieces there that were more extreme – a have to have in all parts of the clothing line. In the end, it was about seeing what works… because the clothing line comes out every month, so there is some flexibility and adaptability to trends.
Which part of the design process do you enjoy the most, and which is the least enjoyable?
Sketching and working with fabrics was the most exhausting. By the time I was done, I felt as though I needed a cocktail! Jeans were by far the most fun, as I became an expert in fades, widths, stitching, rivets and pockets. What is rewarding about my work was that the end result was an economical jean, created from the best of what I know. I was adamant that I didn’t have to copy True Religion!
Many of your trials and tribulations have influenced your music – is there any significance, personally, to August 17th as your launch date?
Fall seemed like a good period in which to launch. On a more personal note, the 17th of September marks my birthday, and additionally the initial ‘A’ is shared by my name and the emblem that graces many of my designs. The emblem design proved to be a large challenge, between licensing issues and finding one that spoke to exactly I was looking for, but it worked out fine!
As you know, H&M has done a number of collaborations with high-profile figures such as yourself. Is Anastacia by S.Oliver intended as a one time gig or to have a long-term life span?
At this point there is a 4-year contract in place, although there is some hint that this collaboration will most likely last longer. Currently, S.Oliver has hundreds of stores involved in the launch, and this figure is growing every month, as the company is now stretching to new places. This is no small endeavor on my and S.Oliver’s part.
If you could dress one woman who would it be and why?
Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie! I praise them for their simplicity and effortlessness – they are simple, exquisite and don’t need much.
Finally, would you say there’s more pressure on you because of the skepticism surrounding singers who become designers?
I am the first to admit that this project was a lot to bite off. When I first began, I had no clue how intensive the design process would be. I have become quite the expert of all the elements the process entails. I desired to learn and my ability to swiftly adapt made me a savvy designer, as well as quite a business woman of course!
The interview ends just before my 20 minutes is up. Anastacia tells me that she feels as though she has been speaking to one of her girlfriends because of my accessible accent. Although I am disappointed I was unable to speak with her for longer, I walk away impressed by how frank and funny she is, as well as her obvious acumen and budding talent for design.
CLICK HERE FOR THE MAKING OF THE PHOTOSHOOT FOR ANASTACIA'S CLOTHING LINE.
By Daphne Woo