Actress and businesswoman Gabrielle Union has partnered with New York & Company to create an affordable fashion line
Being Mary Jane actress Gabrielle Union (44) will be designing her own collection for New York & Co. which will be sold in the retailer’s 335 stores and online from 16 August.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Union said she wanted to offer on-trend fashion at affordable prices.
She explained that her friends, family and her social media followers often asked where she bought certain items, such as a coat that R66 000.
“In that moment you say the price, you’re [a jerk]. There’s got to be a way of creating fly, dope, on-trend, fashion-forward pieces for a much lower price, and that was my goal,” she said. Once she realized she could do it at a reasonable price and retain the quality, “I just started running a little wild”.
Gabrielle, who’s married to Chicago Bulls basketball star Dwayne Wade, describes her style as ever-evolving.
“Some days I get up and I just want to rock joggers. Some days I get up and I’m all about a statement piece, and some days I want a beautiful sheath dress. I’m not one of those people you say ‘boho chic’. My closet pretty much looks like Intermix. A little high, a little low and a little everything in between,” she said.
Gabrielle’s first collection was inspired by her character on Being Mary Jane and will include pants, suits, joggers, dresses and bodysuits.
“She’s a fierce leader, she loves a statement piece, she brings a lot of flair to the workplace,” Union said. “I wanted that leadership element of my character to jump out. You see a lot of great sheath dresses in materials that are incredibly flattering and helpful. In my own life, I’ll say to my stylist: ‘This material is fighting me and it’s winning,’” she said. A lot of the fabrics she uses have stretch, “but with stretch that doesn’t have too much give. It will hold you in place”.
Gabrielle Union was born on October 29, 1972, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Theresa (Glass), who managed a phone company, and Sylvester E. Union, a military sergeant and business executive. When she was eight, her family moved to Pleasanton, California, where she grew up and attended high school. In high school, Union was an all-star point guard and a year-round athlete participating in soccer, basketball, and track. She graduated from Foothill High School (Class of 1991).
After high school, Gabrielle attended college at University of Nebraska, where she played on the soccer team; and then later transferred to Cuesta College. Eventually, she ended up at UCLA. On her way to law school, just planning on being a working stiff, things started to happen during her senior year. Gabrielle had a college internship at a L.A. modeling agency, she thought it would be an easy way to pick up some extra credits. Little did she know that clients were eyeing the help. Upon the completion of the internship, she was asked to become a client with the agency. Gabby thought of it as a great way to pay off a stack of college loans, and modeled until her agent found that she could actually act. Her first audition/job was landed without any headshots, on Saved by the Bell (1989). Since then, she has gone on to have many small but substantial film roles and has guest-starred on several hit TV shows, all before landing the role of “Dr. Courtney Ellis”, on CBS’ short-lived medical drama City of Angels (2000).
Although she plays parts that are opinionated and strong, Gabrielle believes that, “Hollywood needs to recognize all shades of African-American beauty.” Gabrielle is a 1996 graduate of UCLA with honors in sociology.