scroll down

Mar 1, 2021

Harper’s Bazaar: Kelly Rowland Launches Second Collection with JustFab

Kelly Rowland Wants Women To Be Their Own Muses

by Bianca Betancourt| Mar 1st, 2021

Kelly Rowland is entering her own personal renaissance.

Since her first solo album, Simply Deep, in 2002, Rowland has made it clear that she doesn’t play by the rules when it comes to personal creativity. Whether it’s being venturesome with her personal style, experimenting with different genres for her sound, or creating captivating visual art (like her latest music video, “Flowers”) to correspond with her vast musical catalogue, her work always maintains a deeper meaning. And her latest creative endeavor, a designer for JustFab, is no exception.

For her second collection with the fashion retailer, which launched today, Rowland looked inward and to the women around her for inspiration. From reminiscing on the ’90s-era looks she wore in Destiny’s Child to searching for a burst of sartorial joy while running errands amid quarantine last year, the star curated her spring collection with pieces from everyday life, while also making sure to honor the women who came before us.

“So much was taken from us this year that I wanted to pour back into women, because I feel like there’s been so many women in my life to pour into me,” she tells BAZAAR.com. “And what better way to give back than to do that creatively?”

We sat down with Rowland before the launch (and before she welcomed her second son, Noah Jon Weatherspoon, into the world) to chat about how her new collection of footwear and clothing came to be, how womanhood affects her artistry, and what she’s manifesting personally and professionally for 2021.

This new collection is all about celebrating womanhood and is an ode to Greek goddesses. Tell me why you decided to look to Greek mythology for inspiration.

There are so many elements I feel like women possess, as far as just being a woman is concerned. How we have to just go through our day and what that entails. And it does entail power, because I feel like we are constantly fighting for that, for ourselves, for each other, for another generation, for the most simple things. So I felt like power is definitely one. I felt like having this sense of grace is another, which I feel like sometimes we have so much of, and we’re able to give enough away.

So power, grace. And there’s this effortlessness about being a woman that’s so beautiful and that feels really amazing. One of the main things I feel like really just makes you feel like a woman—I don’t have to try to be a woman, it just exudes from me. And that’s just such a beautiful thing. It’s something that we sometimes, I feel like we don’t get to celebrate enough, because society constantly has to bring up other things or start a narrative when that happens. So I’m just excited by the fact that I had those elements and that they came to life. You have an idea of it, and when you see it come to life, it’s just really a proud moment.

The visual concept behind the campaign focuses on the muses. What do these muses represent to you?

Definitely what I just told you, as far as the power, the grace, the ease and effortlessness. I really went through this moment where I felt like, what do we need to hear right now? In this pandemic, what would really make us feel like we were seen and heard as women in this pandemic and quarantine? And what are the things sometimes taken away from us that I can pour back into a woman? And that’s really where the inspiration for the muses came from—and just listening to so many different stories from different women, and wanting their stories to be a part of this collection in some sort of way was really important.

How did you manage to find inspiration and creativity in this new role as a designer? Especially with us being stuck in the house for so much of this year.

For me, the “stuck in the house for so long” moment was this place where I could actually sit down and research and think about things. I have boards of creativity, where I have all these boards, I’m like, “This one’s for movies, and this one’s for TV, and this one’s for music, and this one’s for this, and this is for that.” You throw everything out there and you see which one sticks, or you see which one you keep going back to or what looks you keep going back to, or just this one really continues to draw me in, so it’s obviously telling me to do something with it.

But I felt like it was such a good time to be creative and productive. Before I got pregnant, I’d have a really good glass of wine and be like, just let my imagination take me wherever I want to go. I was that person. So that’s exactly what I did. And I just had a really good time doing it. I watched old movies, I read certain books, I watched different films. I remember a friend of mine told me to watch a couple of old French films and British films and African films. So I like to submerse myself into just different types of creativity, or spaces and places that I’ve never explored or tried before. So I just wanted to see what would happen. Especially if you’ve got the time for it. I never had the time to do that. Ever. So I finally did.

How has your style adapted over this past year?

If you notice in the fall collection that I did with JustFab, you’ll see exactly how it changed. Because it has still a cool, elevated look to it, but it’s more so relaxed. Because where else are you going to go? So I kept thinking about that, but I was like, “If I am going to go to the store, let me put on a cute pair of boots to do so.” Just because I’ve been stuck in the house, I need a moment. I just want a moment. So I literally had this one where I was like, “No, I need a cute shoe.” I remember my husband would say, “Where are you going?” To the store. He was like, “With that on?” I’m like, “Yes, I need a moment.” We all need a moment.

And with this collection, I feel like it once again lends itself to that, where if we are inside and it’s a day where you either are taking a walk, or you’re going for a hike, or you’re just hanging and you want to be fly, we have the coolest boots I’m so excited about. And they have a little color to them. They have a little flair. And, yes, people are like, “Well, it’s spring,” but at the same time, they’re linen, and we’ve given them a different twist and it looks really cool, because the colors are cooler, the stitching is fly. I’m having fun, but also knowing we may have a little bit of boundaries here and the fact that we might still be in quarantine, but let’s be fly while we do it.

You’ve had so many amazing personal style moments through out the different eras of your career. Did any of those fashion memories help influence this collection or your role as a designer?

When I think about the very early ’90s-style moments, it would definitely be that. But the ’90s always inspires me. If you notice, I’m always dipping into somebody’s ’90s bag. I’d stay plastered in the ’90s. I also remember me and the girls [Destiny’s Child] would wear combat boots, but they were clear. So I remember us having clear boots on, and then the boots coming back up now, to just the bangles on the heel. So I’m just really excited to see those moments pop out and see how everybody’s going to receive it. Will they remember this, or will they even make the connection?

What have been some of your personal style mainstays while working from home?

Anything that for me matches and feels good. Everything has to feel good right now on my skin. I want it to feel like luxury. Even if it looks expensive and it’s not, that’s a plus for me. A big plus. Because no one wants to spend a whole lot of money either, but if you can get a bargain on something beautiful, and it’s elegant, and it’s classic, and it looks like it goes in your closet for forever, then you literally just had a big come up. It’s a big come up.

What do you want 2021 to mean for you? Whether it’s personally, creatively, professionally, what are you hoping to manifest?

Health. Good health. Happiness. And a constant state of gratitude. I feel like a lot has happened this year, and I actually want people to experience some form of joy in their lives. Somebody just asked me that the other day, and they were like, “But that wasn’t about you.” I was like, “Yeah.” I said, “I feel so blessed, beyond blessed, and God has given me a seed.” We are safe and happy and grateful in our home, but I want joy. I want to see joy just kind of be infectious and kindness to be infectious amongst people, because we all need it. We all need a little piece of it.

This was a hell of a year. This was a hell of a year. It was great loss, but I feel like we also should understand what the great gain from this year was. What did we gain from this year, because we lost so much. So I actually said I wanted to do that before 2021 rang in. So if there was something I feel like I lost, what do I feel like I gained? I don’t feel like I lost anything. That’s not my story, but that’s so many people’s story, and I’m aware of that. And I just wish them joy and kindness.

fashion