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Mariah Carey is having more than a baby — she’s also unveiling a lifestyle line.
After weeks of speculation, Carey confirmed on Thursday that she and her husband, Nick Cannon, are expecting their first child. But before her spring due date, Carey will hatch her first lifestyle collection featuring jewelry, footwear and fragrance on HSN on Nov. 29.
The move makes Carey the newest addition to the celebrity designer circuit, but unlike many of her contemporaries, she isn’t taking the traditional retail route. Instead, she’s going straight to the consumer, and is sticking to a genre she is comfortable with — TV, as well as the Internet.
In an exclusive interview, Carey said she is always eager to push her creativity into new directions, and after meeting HSN Inc. chief executive officer Mindy Grossman, she jumped at the opportunity to develop her own collection of shoes and baubles, and enhance her fragrance offering.
Carey said she developed a more significant interest in jewelry through her friend Joan Boyce, one of the designers in HSN’s lineup.
“I never even used to wear jewelry,” the singer said. “I used to wear baby earrings, tiny things. When I started to get into jewelry a little more, Joan was working with HSN, and that’s how I met Mindy Grossman.”
Two weeks later, Grossman flew to Los Angeles to meet with Carey, and the two hit it off immediately, spending hours at the singer’s house and, more specifically, in her shoe closet. By the end of the day, the duo concluded that the time was ripe for Carey to extend her profile into a lifestyle brand.
“She is personable, funny and smart and obviously creative and talented, and we just talked about what she is passionate about — shoes, jewelry, fragrance and her music,” Grossman said. “I said, ‘Why can’t we do it all?’ She is magnetic, and I think this has the opportunity not just to appeal to our existing customer base, but also a lot of new customers.”
Carey is arguably the biggest star on HSN’s roster, with a global reach and recognition like few of her contemporaries on the network, which include notables like Iman, Twiggy, Wolfgang Puck, Randolph Duke, Rebecca Moses and Loulou de la Falaise.
Since launching her career in 1990, Carey has become the world’s most successful female recording artist, selling more than 200 million albums; she has tried her hand at acting, and while her star turn in “Glitter” was widely panned, she more recently drew critical acclaim for her role as a social worker in “Precious.”
In 2007, she launched her first fragrance with Elizabeth Arden, and the process inspired her to think about extending her creative reach.
“From the inception of working with Elizabeth Arden, I wanted the fragrances to represent what I really like,” she said. “It really opened my eyes and opened the doors for me in terms of starting to think about going into other creative ventures.”
The lifestyle collection is Mariah, all the way, with sparkling, pavé-set “initial” pendants, butterfly earrings, fur-trimmed suede boots and quilted nylon boots wrapped in chains. The shoes will be priced from about $69.90 to $199.90, while the jewelry will be available from $39.99 to $199.95. Carey will also offer a new version of her Luscious Pink fragrance, and 25 $275 bottles of her Luscious Pink Deluxe Edition fragrance will feature a Swarovski Elements-encrusted butterfly with a personal note from the singer.
Carey admitted she likes to channel surf and often finds herself stopping on HSN, particularly when her friend Boyce is on. “It’s a classic, you have to keep it on,” she said. “I do a very good impression of her.”
The practice will come in handy on Nov. 29, though Carey said she had no preshow jitters despite this being her first time selling on TV. “I think it’s just about being yourself, explaining the different products and enjoying yourself,” said Carey. “If I take it so seriously, and say, ‘Oh my god, It’s a Shakespearean moment,’ it’s not going to be fun. I am looking at it as something fun. This is an extracurricular activity for me and I am looking forward to it. It’s another creative outlet for me.”
She talks about her shoe and jewelry designs like a pro — with the added experience of having worn hundreds of designer shoes in her two-decade career. Her shoe closet is filled with styles from Manolo Blahnik to Jimmy Choo, and she particularly loves Yves Saint Laurent heels. She said people compliment her on her shoe closet all the time.