The latest hook-up is Nicole Scherzinger – the X Factor judge and former Pussycat Doll – and purse-friendly online fashion site Missguided. With many luxury brands clamouring to dress her, why partner with an etailer known for its keen pricing?
‘I’m appealing to my fan base,’ she says. ‘In your everyday life, it’s nice to have clothes that don’t exclude anybody; I really wanted it to be attainable.
‘I’ve worn Missguided’s stuff for years,’ she adds, ‘so when they approached me, it felt like a natural fit.’
And besides, it’s all about how you wear your clothes, Scherzinger insists. ‘So many times, people won’t realise I’m wearing a £20 dress,’ she says. ‘If it’s done right and you make it look sassy but chic and dress it in the right way, you can make it look a million bucks.’
Catching her after a late-night recording session for her forthcoming album, Scherzinger is in less than a ‘schamazing’ mood but as she talks about the new collection, she becomes animated.
‘My Missguided woman is really strong,’ she says. ‘It’s the boss side of the girl but the clothes are still feminine and simple. The cut-out dresses are not fussy. They are no-brainers. You put them on and it’s like “wow”. I wanted the clothes to make people feel like the best version of themselves.’
Scherzinger’s Missguided collection took four months to design but features nothing that reinvents the wheel – however, it wasn’t her intention to. ‘I drew from my loves and my personal taste,’ she says.
The result is a range priced from £15 to £50, comprising sportswear-inspired separates, faux leather trousers and a killer jumpsuit, all in monochromatic tones with flashes of cobalt.
True to form, it also features a series of bodycon dresses that Scherzinger explains were inspired by the bandage costume designed by Jean Paul Gaultier that Mila Jovovich wore in 1997 movie The Fifth Element. Will us mere mortals be able to pull off those second-skin dresses?
‘Absolutely,’ she says. ‘I was always like: “No, bring that right below the knee or make that fabric thicker so it holds us in and sucks in our thighs and stomachs.”’
Should the collection prove a hit, it could be a big moment for Missguided. Launched in 2009, the Manchester company expanded into the US and Australia over the past year but doesn’t have the pre-eminence of online giants Asos and Boohoo. Partnering with Scherzinger is its bid to put itself on the map.
Founder Nitin Passi has been taking note of what’s been happening on the high street. River Island, for example, turned things around with a Rihanna collaboration; Dorothy Perkins and most recently Lipsy have benefited from their partnerships with the Kardashians.
And if Passi wanted reassurance that partnering with Scherzinger was a good idea, he got it when the 35-year-old stepped out in Missguided’s bow crop top during The X Factor last year – the item sold out instantly. Despite rumours that she won’t return as a judge this year, her new album means she will still be in the public eye.
But did she actually design anything? ‘Of course I did,’ she says. ‘It has my name on it,’ – but she does admit it was a collaborative process with Missguided’s design team, spearheaded by her.
Perhaps aware the collection may be met with some cynicism, Scherzinger talks at great length about her research. ‘I really studied the catwalks and would show the team things I loved and didn’t love,’ she says. ‘Some of my favourite items in the collection are my fishnet pieces because that’s very on-trend for spring and summer. Gucci is doing it, you know. It makes sense.’
This is only the start of her design ambitions. ‘Missguided have said many times: “Hey, if your day job doesn’t work out, do you want to come and work for us?”’ she laughs. ‘This is one of the things I’ve always dreamed about doing. What girl gets to create clothes they want that aren’t already out there?’
But Scherzinger won’t be giving up music any time soon. ‘I do have a passion for it but obviously not as much as for my music and singing,’ she says. ‘It’s new and exciting for me to have these experiences.’
Whether a real career in fashion is on the cards or not, Scherzinger’s collection will no doubt be a winner with her fans. What will be interesting, though, is to see what happens after the initial hype subsides.