Leave it to Ms. NeNe Leakes to make trolling a good thing! The Real Housewives of Atlanta alum, 48, is sprinkling her fabulosity onto her new HSN collection inspired by Trolls, the animated DreamWorks film out November 4.
Leakes, who is known for her over-the-top style and closet full of designer goods, eagerly took on the challenge of fusing fashion with the traditionally “ugly” dolls … once she got over the name, of course.
“‘Really, the trolls?’ That’s how I felt when they said ‘the trolls,’” Leakes exclusively tells Stylish. “But once we got into it, me and one of the designers really started loving it. There’s even a character that kind of looks like me.”
And when she got a few dolls in front of her, Leakes was moved by the hues of their hair. “I’m a girlie-girl. The colors pink and all of that. I started thinking to myself, ‘Maybe we can make these really, really cool. We could do pink and we could do sequins. We could do handbags.’ Because the trolls are all about color, and it’s all about the hair,” she explains.
The pieces in the line, which include a gray hoodie lined with purple fur, a black sequined pencil skirt and a pink fringed poncho, aren’t just colorful, though — they’re all made with quality, an important aspect for Leakes. “I love things that look expensive, even if they aren’t. You know, if you pay 20 dollars for something, I think it should look just as good as something you pay 100 dollars for. So it’s all about the fabric — it really is all about the fabric.”
Their wearability is another feature that Leakes loves. “A lot of the things can take you from day to night,” she says. “I love, love, love these for college students. I also feel like a mom could wear it, a grandma can wear it. It’s all about your personality. Dressing is supposed to be fun.”
And while she thinks the items will suit her fellow Housewives just fine — Cynthia Bailey and Shereé Whitfield have both asked for pieces! — Leakes would also love to see her line on Trolls’ Anna Kendrick, while Justin Timberlake, who also voices a role in the film, can just pass a hoodie on to his wife, Jessica Biel. “I’d give him my arm if he could get something over to her,” Leakes jokes.
Aside from the clothes, which are available in sizes 2 to 24 (“We are clothing women who eat and women who don’t eat,” she jokes), Leakes also birthed a lifelong Trolls fan. The reality star, who never played with the dolls as a child, was able to introduce the figurines to her 4-year-old “glambaby,” Bri’Asia.
“She’s a cartoon crazy lady. She looks at everything on her iPad. She wasn’t even tripping on the trolls at first,” Leakes reveals. “I was like, ‘Girl, let me show you something new.’ Now she likes them because we’ve been working on the line for a while.”