Queen Latifah On Her HSN Line and Her Personal Style Evolution

Queen Latifah is joining a slew of celebrities who have launched fashion lines in recent years, with an aptly named lifestyle brand, Queen, arriving on HSN on Aug. 27.

Latifah said of her motivation to get into fashion: “I want to provide ladies from [size] 2-24 with everything I have. If I’m wearing jeans, you can have the jeans. If I put on the sweater, you’ll get the sweater. If I’m wearing a jacket, the jacket’s yours as well. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case for a lot of my career. Certain great pieces I can buy off of the rack, tailor them a little bit and they work, but there are so many things that I have had to make special. Ladies haven’t had the opportunities to get them unless somebody knocks them off. Now you can go right to the source.”

At the Queen preview, Latifah talked about the process of creating the collection, how her style has evolved through the years and revealed her wardrobe must-have.

What was the process of creating this collection?

It was based on some things that I already own, and on some designers that I like. We came up with inspiration boards. I yay or nayed very quickly. I’m pretty good with, ‘I don’t like it, I don’t like it, I don’t like it, I like it.’ We could eliminate a lot of things that way and focus on things that I thought were really strong. Of course they [HSN] would then add more things to it, I’d come back, look at the samples being made. I’d give thoughts like, 'I don’t like these stitches there, I don’t like those buttons there, that cut is not going to work, let’s tailor that jacket a bit more, it’s too boxy.' There was a lot of back and forth with ideas. 

Who are some of your favorite designers?

I like Ralph Lauren. I like that classic American style. I like Donna Karan. I do love Gucci. I just respect their work ethic. I’m wearing a pair of Gucci heels right now, and wearing a pair of their heels is like the movie "Kinky Boots." I also like fun designers like Jean Paul Gaultier.

What’s your wardrobe must-have?

I think beautiful undergarments. I think a really pretty panty and a really pretty bra. Sometimes you just need to know that you are looking good up under there.

How has your style developed since you were a rising star?

I think it has developed a lot. I was always known as a pretty stylish person, but when I started rapping I had an Afrocentric kind of style. And then I was like, I have to take these crowns off, they don’t recognize me if I don’t have these crowns on. And I just changed through the years. I have been able to meet a great makeup artist, a great stylist, great hairdressers along the way, who showed me things and taught me things and I was able to learn. Regardless of that, keeping my identity is very important. You can bring me whatever kind of clothing you want, but if it’s not me, I’m not wearing it. If I don’t feel confident in it, I’m not wearing it. I was forced to grow up and learn who I am and really accept that and be confident in that woman.

What gave you the confidence to jump into fashion?

What I don’t know I will be learning. I am not going to act like I am a veteran. I am always trying to learn and grow and experience new things and try and get better what I do. I try not to take on things that I don’t feel like I can accomplish. If I start believing that I can pull something off, I’ll put 150 percent into it and go for it. And if I fail, I fail. If I fall on my face, I’ll lick my wounds and get up and try something else.

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