Nancy O'Dell likes to have a little edge.
The statuesque South Carolina-born co-host of "Entertainment Tonight" might be known for her accessibility and warmth, but when it comes to fashion O'Dell admits that a splash of drama is key.
That kind of flair is exactly what she's added to her new clothing line from Evine, which officially launches tonight at 11 p.m. ET.
"The overall feel for the collection is elegance with an edge," the budding designer tells mom.me.
O'Dell, who has an 8-year-old daughter with husband Keith Zubulevich, also chats with us about what she's wearing to the Emmys, her closet must-haves and what she absolutely won't let her daughter wear out of the house. (Hint: She didn't design it.)
As a mom, what did you find was missing in women's fashion?
One big thing for me is I'd wear things on the show, and then I wanted to be able to also wear them to school. I would run from work straight to a school event, which happens all the time. I either will run to go and pick up my daughter or I'd be running to go to some kind of parent meeting, or to some sporting event, and I wanted things to be able to work both ways.
People ask me all the time, "Hey, where'd you get that outfit?" so it's going to be fun to be able to say, "It's mine!"
So you're going to wear them on the show, too?
Yeah! I'm really excited about it. People ask me all the time, "Hey, where'd you get that outfit?" so it's going to be fun to be able to say, "It's mine!"
It's elegant enough to be able to wear on "Entertainment Tonight," and then it's going to have a little bit of an edge to it, because that's what we all kind of want as moms. We want to be elegant and sophisticated as a mom, and have it be age-appropriate, but also have a little L.A. vibe to it, have a little edge to it so that it feels stylish and gives it a little oomph.
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Speaking of the outfits you wear on the show, and for awards shows, do you have a favorite?
You know, I had one that I wore to an Oscars a good while back. It was a really elegant white one, and it had a kind of cape draped over the back. It just had this really dramatic style element to it, and it was just different. And I think that's always nice with clothes. Even if it's not so dramatic and it just has a little something different on it — and that's one thing I talked about, and the Evine people have been great. We literally went and pulled things out of my closet and said, "I like the zipper on this" or "I like the collar because it's really unusual" or "the function of this," and "I like the comfort of this," so everything has a little different something to it.
Is Evine planning anything else for you outside of the line?
Evine is going to do my gown for the Emmys because my clothing line launches at the same time. That's going to be a lot of fun.
Are there any details you can reveal?
We're kind of in the final designing stage right now. We're just now finalizing the material and what it's going to be exactly and the final design. So we kind of have it narrowed down. Like I told them, I just wanted that extra something on it, a little dramatic.
But it's exciting to be able say that, because every time at the Emmys, it's like, "Who are you wearing?" and I'll be like, "I'm wearing me!"
Does your daughter give you fashion advice from a kid's perspective?
She says that I should mix up my colors more. She says that I match them too much, that I should wear purple and pink, and that I can have green. Because with kids it's all about color anywhere.
The cutest thing is that she saw me doing the whole design thing with my Evine team, and then we were doing the photo shoot at the house, and so she was looking at it during the whole thing. She had asked me if there was a kids' clothing line. And I said now it's a woman's line, so she literally came home from school the next day and during recess she had drawn all of these clothes. And she said, "Can you give these to the people and have them make these clothes?" because they didn't have any kids' clothes. And it was just the cutest thing ever. She had thought everything out.
So is that what's next? A kids' line from your daughter?
That would be fun. Those are not in the plan right now. I told my husband I was going to somehow, though, have to figure it out and go online and find things that look like it because I felt like I didn't want to disappoint her. I wanted to actually have those clothes made for her because she was so excited about it. I didn't want to want to tell her I couldn't.
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What are your top must-have items in your closet?
I do. I have a leather jacket. That's something that everyone should have in their closet. You can throw it over a dress; you can wear it with jeans and a T-shirt. You can throw it over a maxi dress, you can wear it with leggings. I just think you can wear it with anything. You can wear it with dressy, you can wear it with casual, so I think everybody has to have that. Another would be a great pair of leggings because they're wonderful for kids' school events or they're great at work, too. They're awesome for travel. I love things that work for a lot of different purposes. So that would be another one. A different one that I have is this cardigan that I love. I love something that has a little bit of edge to it. And the cardigan, it's like a shawl on one side and a fitted sleeve on the other. So you can wear it as just a sweater or it can be a wrap to throw on top. Because I got so much use out of that, I did something in my line that's similar to that, serves the same purpose.
It's back-to-school time. What are you and your daughter most excited about?
She gets excited because it's the start of soccer season, and she loves soccer. It's also the start of football season, so I get very excited about that. I need to pull for my Clemson Tigers.
She's very social, so she gets very excited that she gets to go back and see her friends. She actually loves her teachers. When you're in those beginning grades, you love and adore your teachers and think they're everything. She really loves learning and reading. She's book crazy.
That was the first time that my daughter ever thought my job was cool.
What are some of her favorite books?
She loves the "Treehouse" series. She is obsessed with those. She has the whole series. She's read all of those. She also likes "Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot." And she's obsessed with the book that Disney's "Descendants" is based on.
Kids have really gone crazy over that movie.
These kids are rock stars. That was the first time that my daughter ever thought my job was cool because I took her to the premiere for "Descendants." I don't take her to a lot of premieres—I don't like her out in public. Inside the theater, they had all the Disney stars and they were all there watching the movie, so it was her rock stars. She was going crazy.
Is there anything that's off limits for your daughter, fashion-wise?
She has loved high heels for a while. She loves to dress up in little kid high heels around the house. She's always wanting to wear them out. I told her no, they were too grown-up for wearing out of the house. I said, "No, you can't do that in high heels." "Why not?" "Well, first of all, they're not good for your feet period, especially at a young age. Second of all, it's just not appropriate."
I laugh at my husband, though. You know how kids love the store Justice? The little underwear that they have for the kids, they have dogs and stuff on them. They're very innocent-looking, except they have a little bit of lace on top of it. And so my husband, he's, like, "What is that on top of her underwear? She can't be wearing lace underwear!" And I'm, like, "Hey relax, it's got a puppy dog on it."
It was so cute, because all of a sudden he became "Dad"—like, "That's my little girl and she's not growing up at all."
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Image of Nancy O'Dell with "Evine Live" host Sarah Anderson via
Author: Laura Clark