When Brooke Shields chose Timeless as the name for her new fashion and accessories line, she didn’t realize that the same moniker could easily be used to describe her decades long career.
The Ivory Snow baby, who went on to become a child model, author, Broadway star and film and television actress has reinvented herself countless times. Shields’ latest act as fashion designer may be the full-circle moment that her longtime admirers have been waiting for.
For her first-ever fashion line at 53 years old, Shields teamed with West Chester-based home shopping giant QVC. Over the years, Shields had been approached by many companies to help develop a chic clothing line, but it never quite worked out because “it was not just about signing over my name or lending them my face. It had to totally represent my sense of style and aesthetic.”
When she met the QVC team, she explained that she wanted to be an integral part of a collection that has her name on it, and they took her seriously. “I’m involved in every button, zipper, seam, hem and pocket. I wanted to learn how to adapt my aesthetic to a model that works so well for them,” she says.
Brooke Shields Timeless had its one-hour premiere on March 14, with Shields appearing on-air to present the collection, featuring an assortment of sophisticated “go-to” separates, including classic button ups, flowy blouses, tailored bottoms, flirty skirts, colorful scarves and contemporary fashion jewelry.
Not surprisingly, she has another smash hit on her hands. “Brooke’s point-of-view and passion are undeniable,” says Rachel Ungaro, QVC’s vice president of fashion and accessories buying. “She is likeable, authentic and our customers are immediately drawn to her.”
Shields created pieces that reflect a woman’s personality that changes as she does. “I like to reference Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and any number of classically beautiful women, whose sense of style I grew up greatly admiring,” she says.
And those who first fell under her spell in the early ’80s as the face of Calvin Klein, don’t worry—denim is part of the collection. It’s also a staple of her day-to-day wardrobe because “as a true New Yorker, practicality comes into play,” she says. These days she reaches for denim labels GRLFRND, Moussey and Amo to pair with a Lanvin trench for the “in-between months,” or a Greg Lauren Army jacket. When traveling, she favors The Row for “simple, tonal dressing.”
“My personal day-to-day style is mostly American classics with a touch of tomboy. For special events, I like to have a little more fun, glam it up, and dress it up!” she says.
Among her favorite designers are Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren for Ready to Wear, Hermes, Lanvin, Dior and Zac Posen for eveningwear. In fact, she adored the strapless blue Zac Posen gown with full skirt and matching diamond necklace, earrings and cuff set she wore to the Met Gala in May.
A 1987 Princeton graduate, Shields fondly recalls going to Philadelphia with her roommate on weekends. “There’s something about Philly that reminds me of the loyalty that native New Yorkers have—it’s a ‘no bull’ kind of thing,” she says. “There is no façade and nothing fake. I appreciate that level of honesty.” Today she enjoys quality time at home in New York with Chris Henchy, her screenwriter/producer husband of 17 years, and their two daughters, Rowan and Grier. Although Shields is adept as a dramatic and comedic actress, motherhood has proven to be her most pleasurable and daunting role.
“Motherhood,” she says, “is the most thankless, prideful and joyous journey. You have these little strangers living with you rent-free, and only asking for things, and then they are punishing you and not liking you. At times, it brings you to your knees.”
Shields said she feels strongly about teaching them the importance of improving the lives of others, and as such she decided to focus on one passion project that would fill her late mother Teri’s lessons of giving back.
She called longtime friend, Christine C. Quinn, about helping Women in Need, (WIN), a 30-year-old New York based nonprofit that provides 10 family shelters and 500 units of supportive housing for 5,000 people each night; half of them are children. In addition, WIN provides job training and placement, income building, domestic violence counseling and after-school care. Shields is now a WIN spokesperson, focusing on Taxi TV and digital campaigns, fundraisers and personal outreach. “We need to provide a safe haven, so that once they transition out, these mothers don’t come back to the shelter,” Shields says. “I am in this for the long haul.”
Before she had a family, Shields said that her life was work-oriented. But motherhood has changed this. Frequently, she talks to her daughters about self-esteem and the fact that “their power is not in beauty, but in intelligence, confidence and kindness,” she says. “I want the world and especially my girls to know that I never waited for anybody or anything to fix me or save me,” Shields says of her legacy. “I’ve always taken ownership of my happiness and my destiny.”
Shields will be back on QVC soon to launch the full Timeless collection, including structured jackets, blouses, scarves and more. There will also be a much-anticipated Spring 2019 line. Whether on QVC or through any of her other pursuits, Shields says that she feels a strong sense of loyalty and affection for her fans who span all ages. “This is a huge gift I constantly try to respect, because this is a cross section of people who have given me longevity, let me fail and allowed me to dust myself off to get up and try again.”