Veteran QVC and HSN host Judy Crowell will launch her own line on ShopNBC Nov. 24. Crowell’s husband Paul Deasy, who was also a host with Crowell on QVC and HSN, already hosts a jewelry line on ShopNBC called the Gem Insider. Crowell’s shows will be at 2 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Here Crowell tells the Homeshoppingista about the Judy Crowell Collection, which will kick off with accessories and then have a full launch early next year with sportswear and outerwear. This is an edited version of the interview.
Q: Tell me a little bit about the collection that you’re doing for ShopNBC.
JC: It’s a collection really of accessories, outerwear and sportswear.
When somebody is putting together a style for themselves, it’s a matter of so many different elements, especially in this economy when people are really trying to be careful and even consignment shops are saying that their business is down. People are hanging on to their wardrobes longer.
So what do you do when you have this urge to feel new and feel fresh to liven up that wardrobe? Accessories just seems to be such an obvious choice.
So with a collection of great scarves, or a fun little handbag that you throw on, or a great pair of sunglasses or a brand new belt, a hat, whatever it happens to be, it’s sort of that finishing touch that can really make you feel updated.
Q: You said also sportswear and outerwear?
JC: That won’t start until next spring. That’s kind of in the works now too. This collection, believe it or not, I’ve been working on, believe it or not, for a year and a half. It’s been a really long time in coming. But I think that makes it that much sweeter.
Q: So I assume on your first shows the end of the month, it’s going to be just the accessories as you were saying.
Q: What is the price point? And there are so many clothing lines and accessory lines, what is your brand going to stand for?
JC: My brand is going to stand really for longevity. I want to say classics but not in the term of old or antique. And I don’t want to use the word trend because it’s so overused, a sort of come-and-go word. So these are things to me that can be investment pieces.
I have a collection of scarves, and they’re so pretty. The beautiful thing about this collection is that, especially for this time of year, they’re at a price point that’s perfect for gift giving, as well as for that personal fix that I talked about – a new little thing for you to carry or buy for yourself.
A scarf is a perfect way to give a gift in that 25 – $35 range. And if you’re buying something that is a great color for you, it’s always going to be a great color for you.
So that’s what I mean about investment. And if you buy a great clutch or a super tote, those things will always be useful. They’re almost basics that don’t go out of style but they’re still fresh and they are still updated.
Q: Handbags is a category that can be very inexpensive, high end, low end, very competitive.
JC: These are going to be faux leather, and the reason I decided to go with that is exactly as I was telling you about being able to have that sense of newness in your wardrobe seasonally. Your wardrobe doesn’t go as far if you’re having to invest in a $1,500 handbag.
What I decided is and what I noticed in my research is there are amazing things that manufacturers are now doing in duplicating leather but in faux. The only thing that doesn’t have the same characteristic almost is the smell.
Believe me, I have a closet full of leather bags, and I covet them. And I think it’s nice to be able to stay in the style of today by being able to say, ‘Gosh, if I can just get something that’s in that $59, $79, $99 range and still feel that I’m going to turn heads and somebody’s going to say, That is such a cute bag, where did you get that?’
Q: For your bags, what are you aiming for?
JC: The neat thing about these is they all have special elements. There’s this beautiful braid-work on some of the bags. Some of them do have the chain detail. Some of them are cross body bags that are great for all ages – the movie goers or the lunch goers or the grandmas who now have new grandchildren they want to pick up and still cart the carriage behind them.
And in the summer, (there are) little clutches that are great for day and evening. And because so many more people are now carrying those, too, they kind of go inside the big tote, too. They’re definitely today’s style, today’s fashion, but I wouldn’t call them necessarily trendier than anything else.
Q: I see you’re not treading on your husband’s (Paul Deasy’s) turf, jewelry.
JC: I actually started to go into that arena because I love jewelry. But honestly, jewelry obviously is as important an accessory as a pair of gloves or a scarf or a handbag or a hat or a great pair of boots or a belt. I’m not going to tell you that I’m not eventually going to add in jewelry. That’s another thing I wanted to work out and make sure of before I added that element.
There are a lot of different ways you can go with that (jewelry). You can go high end, you can go sterling and gold, you can go costume and fashion, so I just wanted to make sure that before I forged into that territory, that I was doing something that would coordinate with the other aspects of my line, and that was fulfilling a niche.
Q: So the Nov. 24 ShopNBC show is sort of a preview of what’s to come — the accessories — almost a soft launch, and next year you’ll have the rest of your line. Is it going to be early next year?
JC: It will be very early spring. We’re aiming for end of February, early March.
Q: Next year with the outerwear and the sportswear, what’s going to be your statement with those pieces? And are those for spring or for summer?
JC: They’ll be for spring for sure. That’s why we want to launch those in late February, early March, so that people feel like they can get the most out of the wear-ability while it’s still necessary to throw on a sweater or throw on a great raincoat or throw ona great trench. It will be the March or April season. ”
In addition to a new group of handbags that will be more appropriate to the spring and summer colors. The outerwear and the coats and sportswear pieces will also be suited for more spring season.
Q: What’s your take on the sportswear and the outerwear?
JC: We’re still trying to get you beauty and value for your money. I think you still want a quality product, something that you are wearing more than just this year. It goes back to what I said before. If you invest in a scarf that’s a beautiful color for you, it always will be.
If you invest in a great rain jacket that happens to be this fabulous shade of teal and you got it for a good price but it was well-made, you’re going to look as good in 2011 as you were when you purchased it in 2010.
But just as I mentioned with the handbags, that these elements to them so they’re not just basic, they have the braiding or the chain work or chain mail or a fun little fold-over or a great little handle or strap, these pieces will also be functional, but they also have a twist.
So it might be a really cool collar, or it might be in the pocket detail or in the seaming detail. Everything’s going to have an element that makes it special.
Cause why buy the same trench coat that you bought five years ago if that trench coat is still in good shape and it still fits you. Why not look for something that’s fresh, but still has longevity.
Q: Do you miss being on the air?
JC: I definitely missed being on the air. I can’t wait ‘til the 24th. I think I’m going to have so much fun.
See related story, “ShopNBC Gets Back A Husband-And-Wife Team as QVC/HSN Alum Judy Crowell Joins Hubby Paul Deasy.”