America’s longest-running celebrity fashion collection is getting a second wind.
Jaclyn Smith, who became an overnight icon playing Kelly Garrett on the television series “Charlie’s Angels” that ran from 1976 to 1981, has officially relaunched her eponymous fashion collection on HSN. For starters, it’s a 10-piece spring line aimed at women 35 and older, with classic and trendy items that can be worn from day to night, have stretch features and sizes that fit “the right people,” the actress said.
“This is exciting because through HSN, with its streaming broadcast, website, mobile app and social pages, I will have the opportunity to reach many more people,” Smith told WWD in an interview. “I have been dedicated to my clients for 36 years,” which she characterized as diverse and from all walks of life.
The Jaclyn Smith Collection was first launched in 1985 and has always been sold exclusively at Kmart. Her brand was one of the reasons why Kmart was able to continue operating despite mismanagement, bankruptcy and constant store closings over the years. Kmart is now down to just three stores, from nearly 2,500 in the mid-90s.
In its heyday, the Jaclyn Smith collection included womenswear, accessories, intimates, footwear, seasonal gifts, linens, tables, decor and furniture, generating $250 million to $300 million in annual sales. In all, during her decade at Kmart, the Jaclyn Smith brand has sold more than 100 million items. Her contract with Kmart expired at the end of July 2021, followed by a roughly one-year sales period.
Even though Christmas has just passed, Thursday is still a good time to reboot. Last year, consumers began to renew their wardrobes as they emerged from the COVID-19 stay-at-home lifestyle and returned to socializing and the office environment. But they are pinched by inflation, spend less on discretionary items and are challenged to find fashionable women’s clothing at low prices. With the new Jaclyn Smith collection, “everything in the launch collection is under $100,” the former Charlie’s Angel said.
Smith will appear live on HSN’s “Obsessed With Style” at 8 a.m. Saturday, again at 1 p.m. and on The List at 7 p.m., most likely in his moto jacket. It’s designed in nubby tweed with a fringe around the neck, a rose gold zipper and shoulder pads and is priced at $59.75. “It looks very high-end and very refined,” Smith said.
Asked to name a few other favorites from the collection, Smith singled out a fully lined bomber jacket with cargo pockets and drawstring, priced at $59.75. “It’s perfect for spring. It keeps the cold out, but is light enough to carry inside. You can wear it open or closed… I’m a jacket girl.”
She also singled out a short-sleeved textured knit top, priced at $24.75. “It’s my answer to the classic T, but more refined, reinforced, with a wonderful stretch.”
There’s also a sweater with thin vertical stripes and narrow ribbing, priced at $42.75. “It’s very flattering and worn completely open. I like clothes that move with you,” said Smith. “I chose to do vertical stripes, which many people questioned, thinking it made you look bigger. But done right, it doesn’t have to. I love stripes.”
The collection also features a wrinkle-free, short-sleeve safari-print shirt with front cuffs ($32) and a matching side-tie wrap skirt ($49.75). Both pieces are available in other colors and can be combined. “You can carry parts in a bag,” Smith said. “The fabric is durable, and sportswear goes from day to night. My goal is to make it wearable.”
The collection ranges from size XS to 3X. “We measure real people, not form. If something’s not comfortable or it’s not moving with me, or it’s not stretched, it’s not right,” Smith said.
“I’ve never done HSN,” she said. “It’s like I’m going to unknown territory. But it rejuvenates. It boosts my game.” She will describe her new fashion pieces and where she gets her inspiration for the collection, including the Paris fashion shows she attended.
HSN is a big change from her Kmart days, when she appeared in stores, advertised on television and in print. Now it’s more about streaming and social media. Smith works on social media herself, reminiscing about Christmas in her home, her vacations and other aspects of her life. “Social media was hard for me at first because I’m so introverted, but you get into it and enjoy other people’s social networks. I got better at it. People who have been following you for years want to know something about your personal life and your home.”
Almost four decades since she broke into fashion, she says her philosophy remains the same: to offer a quality brand at an affordable price.
The collection was reborn through a licensing deal with RDG Global LLC, a major supplier of private labels to retailers located at 550 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan’s Garment District, although the collection was designed and photographed in Los Angeles, where Smith lives.
“We really had time to source and develop fabrics from all over the world. I didn’t have to rush this. It’s a more elevated line, from the fabric choices to the details, whether it’s a rose gold zipper or buckles. Details make the difference. We put a lot of thought into each piece. It wasn’t like doing 100 pieces,” season after season at Kmart.
While it officially launched on HSN, unofficially (and quietly) various items under the Jaclyn Smith label have been sold on Nordstrom Rack’s website since the fall, as a sort of trial run to help gauge the label’s popularity and give confidence moving forward with HSN -om. “It’s been done very well at Nordstrom Rack with the soft launch,” Smith said. “I built trust, credibility and a following. It was a long-term relationship with my customers.”
“Jaclyn’s vision is brought to life from carefully crafted fabrics and designs that she loves to wear herself,” added Bridget Love, HSN’s general merchandise manager and vice president of fashion, accessories, jewelry and beauty. “HSN continues to lead the way as a pioneer in the live video commerce space by incorporating entertainment, personalities and industry experts like Jaclyn Smith.”