Queen Latifah Reigns On HSN As The Network Targets African-American Women Shoppers

Sorry we didn’t post all weekend, but we got derailed by a lady by the name of Irene. Flooding. No power. All on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in NOLA.

But we had to comment on the debut of Queen Latifah’s fashion line on HSN, with the Today’s Special, a suede hobo purse, on Saturday. Latifah, i.e. Dana Owens of East Orange, N.J., was a natural hawking her wares. As host Colleen Lopez pointed out, she really didn’t even have to be there, because Latifah was doing such a great job explaining her Queen Collection so well.

Latifah started out as a rapper and then moved on to acting and films with huge success (an Oscar nominee for “Chicago,” we believe). She’s a warm, down-to-earth, smart, beautiful woman, and she’s a big woman. And as she stated, she’s a sensitive Pisces. And she makes no excuses for her size.

Latifah said that she had been offered loads of money to do fashion lines before signing on with HSN, which she said “got” women. Latifah’s HSN line ranges in size from XS to 3X, and there is no label on it being for “plus-sized” women.

InStyle magazine this month mentions Latifah’s line, with a photo of a gorgeous draped dress that we were coveting.

What was especially uplifting were the many, many calls that Latifah got from African-American women, who said they admired her, her accomplishments and her style. Latifah’s fessed up to owning $3,000 purses, so even though her TS was $160, not cheap, it was considerably less expensive than what she is used to carrying.

HSN never markets this fact, but it has become a real promoter of African-American vendors. Artists, athletes and entrepreneurs including Iman, Serena Williams, Carol’s Daughter, Mary J. Blige, Natalie Cole, Antthony Design Originals, Sean Combs and Professor Amos are all on HSN’s roster.

And HSN used to have even more African-American vendors. Terry Lewis is a former HSN host who had a great line of classic designs, with great leather pants and skirts. Lewis’s fans still skewer HSN for not having her on the air anymore.

And Beyonce’s mother, Tina Knowles, once had a clothing line on HSN.

HSN also recently did a day that featured products tied to the premiere of the movie “The Help.”

We don’t see by effort by any of the other home shopping networks to target women of color, and we think it’s a great strategy on HSN’s part.

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7 Responses to “Queen Latifah Reigns On HSN As The Network Targets African-American Women Shoppers”

  1. Jill Says:

    I’m really saddened that they have discontinued Terry Lewis’ line. She really knows her stuff, and her clothes were superbly tailored and fabricated. It really, and truly is a loss for HSN and their many happy customers who loved her line.

    As for the newer African-American designers are concerned, I tried a piece from Tina Knowles line and returned it due to poor quality. The same happened with jacket from Serena Williams line. Queen Latifah’s items looked great on tv, but I’d want to see the pieces in person, and check quality and fabrication before passing judgement. I did order one of Iman’s suede bags from her new Platinum line, as we’ll as QL’s TSV(on waitlist). I’m hoping the quality of Iman’s new higher priced line meets high standards for the price points, and the sames goes for QL. Of course producing good or poor quality fashion isn’t race related, because there are plenty of designers out there of other races and ethnicities who shine, or fall short, as well. My issue is more of celebrity designer’s versus trained designers who have worked in the trenches, and made their way up the ladder based on their design esthetic, and ability to produce quality. Louis de Olio comes to mind. He’s been in fashion practically all of his adult life, and was at the helm of Ann Klein during the brand’s successful years, along side none other than Donna Karan. He is a true designer who knows how to produce impeccable, quality clothing that fits as well as it looks.

    Handbags are my thing, and I just bought an OR by Oryany bag, identical to one sold on HSN, at a brick and mortar store, for much less on sale by the way, and the quality is phenomenal. It ranks up there with Coach, Marc by Marc Jacobs, etc.. I can certainly vouch for that line, and Barr & Barr’s, having seen and used the products. I’ll post my critique of Iman’s and Queen Latifah’s bags after I have seen them in person.

    A lot of celebrities are starting clothing lines these days, and many fall short. I have high hopes for Queen Latifah because I just love her, and I’m hopeful that she did a great job of choosing fabrics, and that she made sure the pieces are well constructed and in wearable styles. A lot that I saw during her shows wouldn’t work for me since I’m 5’3″. Many of the items looked to me like they’d look better on a taller woman. Plus, I’m 54 and have a “womanly” figure, so leggings and skinny jeans do not look good on me, with or without a tunic, which is usually way to long for me at my height. I have to say that I didn’t think QL looked good in the black striped metallic sweater and skinny jeans. She said she loved what she was wearing, and I’m happy she likes it, but it really wasn’t a flattering look on her, nor would it be on me. Some of the new styles just look better on tall, thin women, skinny jeans and leggings being a prime example. If you have any extra weight in the tummy, they just accentuate the negative, and all of your weight looks centered in the middle when you wear form fitting, tapered pants. I once heard someone say they’d rather look good in classically styled clothes than bad in the style of the moment. Hear. Hear. I love fashion, but I will not wear a style that doesn’t flatter my figure, or lack there of.

    All that said, I hope HSN’s new found passion for the celebrity/ designer works, and that they actually know how to bring the high quality that they are used in the expensive, luxury items that they own, to clothing and accessories in a moderate price range. Many have tried and failed, so I’m hopeful but a little bit skeptical. Time will tell. Good luck to them, and I hope for all of us that they bring to the table quality and style that the “average” woman can afford.

  2. Darlene Says:

    Targeting the African American buyer is nothing new for HSN. Years ago they used to have a 2-hour show every week on BET offering products geared to that market. In fact Terry Lewis was one of the hosts.

  3. LinNY Says:

    That BET show that Darlene mentions was where I first saw Antthony of Antthony Originals. I think Tina Berry used to host it (if you know who she is, it dates you!).

  4. Jill Says:

    Oh my. I remember Tina Berry. I guess I have been watching a long time.

    Does anyone know what Terry Lewis is doing now?

  5. Lisa Says:

    I loved Queen Latifah’s presentations on HSN. Even though her items weren’t my style, it was great to see her on TV again. I did buy items from Iman’s platinum collection, only to learn this week that the line is actually part of Joy Mangano’s company. Who knows if Iman has any input at all?? I’m so disappointed! I like the coat that I bought, but I’m sad because I really thought I was supporting a company headed by a woman of color. Way to make me feel stupid, HSN. Never again!

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