Jeannie Mai Talk INC, New Baby and Life with Jeezy – WWD

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With the launch next month of her first collaborative clothing collection, Jeannie Mai is as much about motivating people as they are dressing them.

With that in mind, Mai will launch its INC International Concepts line with Macy’s online and in select stores next month.

Mai’s audiences know her through various roles such as producer and talk show host “The Real”; his YouTube series; rapper Jeezy’s wife; executive producer of “Surviving Sex Trafficking”, and former contestant of “Dancing with the Stars”. Mai is also expecting her first child with Jeezy. Mai speaks to her audience and “the changes they’ve made and what they’re doing,” saying in a recent interview in Atlanta that “We are united in our strength, our vision and what we want to be.”

Over the past two years she said she had given a lot of thought to, “If I were to create a collection, what exact pieces would I like other people to have to make them feel good and really take their life? to a new level? “

It’s a lot to ask of a tweed jacket or V-neck mesh dress, but it’s up to the challenge. Aware that putting one’s name on a collection requires a fair amount of attention in order to select the right manufacturer and guarantee quality standards, Mai, an experienced stylist and make-up artist, waited almost 20 years. The Jeannie Mai x INC International Concepts collection will debut on October 25 and will offer three seasonal editions through spring. Created in partnership with Reunited Clothing, the assortment will include comfortable knitwear, suits, loungewear and outerwear.

Being in this world of TV and social media, Mai said she doesn’t meet her fans in person as much as she once did on the “How Do I Look?” Makeover show. where hugging the everyday women on the show was a routine. “This clothing line makes me feel like I’m staying with people and cheering them on when they go to work, go out on that hot date, buy their first home, or finish that degree. It’s my way of being with them and supporting them. I want my clothes to be meaningful to women and men, who are eager to accomplish things in life, ”she said.

Transitional workwear can be worn with jeans or skirts for hanging out with friends, or as full suits “to nail that promotion or go out and build the business you’ve been dreaming of.” Every outfit has an intention, whether it’s to be really trendy, to go shopping, to go there to build that career or just to hang out with your friends, ”he said. she declared.

In addition to Macy’s, Mai buys from Zara, H&M and ASOS, with quality and comfort being paramount over brand specific purchases. That said, his high-low approach includes the mix in “a good piece” from Gucci, Givenchy or Yves Saint Laurent. But the new fall line with Macy’s sells for $ 70 to $ 200.

Mai’s mother gave the first impression of what style can do for a woman. “We didn’t come from much. I grew up in a three bedroom house with 15 people. My family had immigrated from Vietnam. We were very functional when it came to clothing. Just wear what you need to go there to find a job or go to school to learn to speak English, ”she said.

But her mother spent time on her hair, her makeup, her accessories, her nails and “on every outfit.”

“She liked to look like she was recognized. She liked to walk into a room to make people think, “Wait. Have I ever seen you anywhere? ‘ Are you famous? Do I know you? ‘ Said Mai.

It continues to this day, but it is not, and never has been, to attract attention. “My mom, who didn’t speak English and only had a high school diploma at the time, wanted people to know she was worth it. She was worth knowing or asking questions, ”said Mai. “I felt I had these same shoes that I moved to Hollywood in to build my career. I came to Hollywood because I was very passionate about helping people and supporting their individual stories. But in Hollywood, you can really get drowned out by people, judging you or wanting to make you something you’re not, and by the trends.

Realizing then that her sense of style could be a point of differentiation, Mai said she is proud that 15 years later, she still talks about how style is so influential in her daily life and how it is. platform to connect with women as evidenced by its own line.

As a Capricorn and one of the “successful girls,” Mai says having “immense drive and discipline” is needed “to make sure you don’t accept anything less than what you want. . to make sure you stand up for what you believe in and you create things with your own signature.

Instead of digital sizing, the 19 piece drop line goes from XXS to XXL. Macy’s fashion office vice president Durand Guion said in a statement the company continues to “amplify” its commitment to bring more diverse brands and talents into our assortments. “

Mai is in tune with this effort, calling her fans “Mai fam”, she said. “They are like my family. I love my fan base because not all of them are alike. They are all different in their own way, but what binds us together are our individual stories. “

The new designer said she personally purchases products from minority-owned fashion and beauty companies, knowing “how difficult it is” to start businesses “in this white American corporate world.” She said she likes knowing that the money she spends on these items “will go into the pocket of someone who probably has parents who were immigrants, and who certainly had to make their own line with their own.” means without millions of dollars of investors ”and did not have the support of a“ huge conglomerate of department stores ”. She uses Instagram to shop directly from these founders and learn their stories. “As a woman of color, it is very important for me to add to the crucible of creativity so that my name is available to everyone.”

She and Jeezy share a love of fashion. “My favorite thing to do with him is see what he intends to do and complement what he’s wearing. He does the same with me. He will literally wait. He’s going to sit in his towel, because the guys take five minutes to get ready. I will be [getting ready] two hours in advance. He will wait until I get dressed. He’ll take a look and say, “Got it. All of a sudden, he’ll come out in a full suit or a matching loungewear set. He has an excellent eye for fashion. I married my equal in this department. We like to ask for opinions. Sometimes I just like to ask because I like him involved in my outfits. It’s not even that I need help. I just love to hear the taste of a man.

Mai often borrows her husband’s clothes, and her INC collection will include unisex items like jackets and suits. She said: “Her blazers are so perfect for me. I also wear his shirts, his caps. And sometimes, when I haven’t done my laundry, I wear her socks.

The couple are preparing for the arrival of “Baby Jenkins”, whose gender they prefer not to know before giving birth. “It makes things more exciting rather than defining the baby with pink skirts or blue corduroy shorts,” Mai said. “I get everything because I want the baby to have options. It’s very uplifting to see how much you put your baby into very specific stereotypes, depending on whether or not you know it’s a boy or a girl, ”said Mai. “I’ve bought some Air Jordans from a friend for the baby before that could be perfect for a boy or a girl. I have tons of onesies. I like to see what people are offering. It makes me see, “What do you think about when you let go of the expectation that a boy or a girl is wearing?” “”


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