I can’t even recall the first time I encountered the name of designer Abby Z — her name has become just about as well known as Donna Karan or Tracy Reese amongst plus size fashionistas. Abby Z’s gorgeous outfits regularly grace the red carpet on celebrities like Queen Latifah, Camryn Manheim, Mo’Nique, and Angie Stone.
Being that Abby is a well known designer whose HSN clothing line literally flies off the shelves whenever she’s on the air, I didn’t know what to expect from our interview. Would she be a diva? Would she be out of touch, or someone I can relate to?
I’m so happy to report that Abby Z is made of pure awesomeness. You don’t have to ask me — she’ll be on the Home Shopping Network at 1 a.m., then again at 9 a.m and 6 p.m. tomorrow — so you can see for yourself!
My interview with Abby became a conversation pretty much right away. We just gabbed like old girlfriends, and I didn’t take note of my questions at all. So here, my ladies, are some of Abby Z’s gems of wisdom about her amazing life, and her gorgeous clothes.
On her style of design:
“The inspiration comes from my life. My life is very contemporary casual. When I go somewhere I’m packing shorts, tunics…you don’t look good in some muu-muu sarong thing. I LOVE going to Florida, and my boyfriend lives in Aruba. I spend quite a bit of time in warm weather. I don’t desire to make formal wear because that’s not who I am.
I took seven years to make my jeans, and my white denim line. This isn’t something you see that’s thin and see through. This is real, quality denim and they flatter your body. You know how there’s that gap on most jeans so your butt is visible if you sit down? My jeans don’t do that! They’re sit down jeans. My waistband is cut on the bias so they curve with your lower back. People LOVE my denim.”
On her “extras”:
“All my shirts have either a removable necklace, or a camisole. I love doing that. Every sheer shirt comes with a cami. To me, those are the things that make a purchase special. I insisted that HSN include a camisole or piece of jewelry with each shirt.
On what we can expect from her latest HSN collection:
“Lots of beautiful summer colors — teal, coral, emerald. And prints. Alot of people think that prints make you bigger, but no – prints are distracting, and can be really flattering.”
On focusing on “plus sizes,” the surprising range of her sizes, and her ethos as a designer:
“I do sizes 2 to 24. There is literally something for everyone. And honestly I don’t look at any woman as “plus size.” Everyone wants to look beautiful. So when I design an outfit, I’m inspired by trends and fashion and music. I think — this is what I’d wear to walk down Lincoln Road in Miami. This is what I’d wear to go to Aruba.”
On the advantages of shopping on HSN:
“Well HSN has a 30 day return policy. So if you’ve never tried on my clothes before, get two or three sizes, and send back what doesn’t fit. Sometimes when you’re at a department store you get hot and sweaty and it’s crowded and annoying…this way you can sit on your couch and watch me, and get to know me and see the clothes on models of different sizes.”
If that sounds good to you, be sure to tune in at 1 a.m., 9 a.m., and 6 p.m. tomorrow (that’s Tuesday February 9!)
I’m tuning in, Abby! I’ve got my eye on those jeans!