Queen Latifah Building Respect for the 'Curvaceous Woman'

12/07/2011 at 09:00 AM ET

Queen Latifah Essence
Courtesy ESSENCE

Her clothing line for HSN is selling like crazy, but Queen Latifah says finding clothes as a plus-size woman was at one time a constant struggle.

“A lot of manufacturers don’t respect the curvaceous woman,” she laments in the January issue of ESSENCE. “They don’t respect our dollar or our shape.” Thankfully, she’s found an understanding vendor in HSN. “[It's] been such a great partnership,” she says. “I’m happy to make women’s clothing I really like.”

In August, Latifah told PEOPLE she was designing for real women who want affordable, wearable fashion. “It’s really something you can incorporate into your existing wardrobe,” she said of the tops, jackets, jeans and handbags in the Queen Collection. “I mean these are things that are really beautiful, but they’re very wearable. We’re really trying to make sure that they have the best fabrics possible, that it feels good on the body. I’m a Pisces, I’m sensitive; I like things to feel good on my skin.”

Designed for women sizes 2 to 24, the collection is everything the actress wants: “stylish clothes that fit my body, and make me look good and feel good about myself,” she shared. “I wanted to offer basically the same things that I have the opportunity to have.”

Latifah, known for singing, acting, hosting and now designing, says her many talents are making the way for comparisons to a fellow jack-of-all-trades. “People say I’m going to be the next Oprah,” she shares with ESSENCE. “No. Oprah is still Oprah. I’ll be the next me. I feel like there’s always a lane for me as long as I’m true to myself.” For more with Latifah, visit ESSENCE.com.

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Showing 30 comments

BR on

I love Queen Latifah. She seems like a down to earth, apporachable, practical woman, and beautiful. Good for her!

Teresa on

I was excited to see Queen Latifah’s new affordable clothing line, but was disappointed when I saw that they are actually quite expensive. And the models modeling the clothes don’t look plus-size to me. Some of them are actually quite thin. It’s hard to give a larger person an idea of what these styles would look like on them. Still I’m happy this line is going so well for Queen Latifah!

Patty on

I agree with Teresa – I was excited to see her line, but at $50 for a tank top, I would not definte this collection as “affordable”. And, the models used are FAR from plus-size. It is great that Queen Latifah is trying to gain respect for us plus-size gals and our spending power, but using thin girls to model the clothes may not be the way to go…

megan on

I love that she is so comfortable with herself and a good role model! I also love that she is proof that you can be plus size and not be obese or unhealthy! I bet if you took her body fat percentage, which is a MUCH better measurement for obesity and health ect, instead of a BMI which is just height and weight and by far an inferior way to judge ones health (the only reason it is used so often is because it is so easy to calculate and easy to use in large studies where information only is available) she would be a healthy size! She is also proof that you don’t need to be a size 2 and starve yourself (not saying by any means that all size 2 people starve themselves) to be in the industry that she is and to be beautiful! Everyone no matter their size deserves to look and feel beautiful, and that is exactly what she stands for, love it!

Lauren on

The fashion industry doesn’t exactly “accept the dollar or shape” of women under 5’3″ either. I’m 21, 4’11”, and a size 4. You’ve just got to learn to deal with what you’ve got. And find a decent tailor or seamstress. The petite and plus-size sections don’t work for everyone. You learn to deal, because we can’t all create a clothing line to fit our respective shape.

And $50 for a tank top is just ridiculous.

Sherron on

I love Queen Latifah, but don’t these people ever get enough money?? Their all on HSN, Marie Osmond, Joan River, Tori Spelling, Christie Brinkley. The list goes on and on!

Courtney on

@Sherron having other things besides music/film ect is a smart busines move. by the way Marie Osmond & Joan Rivers are on QVC not HSN get your shopping network correct. Are we forgetting that Mia Tyler used to be a plus sized model

belinda on

So she’s comfortable being overweight but not comfortable being honest about her sexuality? I guess it’s because she doesn’t think she can make money off being a lesbian. What a fraud.

savmo101901 on

I love QL…and though her clothes are wearable, they certainly are not affordable. $50 for a jersey knit tank? Sorry, that’s NOT affordable in my book! O_o

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Sarah on

I agree with BR…She’s beautiful inside and out!

SW on

I agree with others here. While I love and respect her for her work and the effort she is making for plus-size women why are the models modeling her clothes a size 2? It is just not here that I see that but on every online plus size clothing store I visit! There is no way to tell what a size 16 would look like on you when a size 2 model is wearing it. Heck anyone a size 2 is going to look great in ANYTHING! Lets see some real models please! At least show us a size 12 or 14 model.

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You on

I LOVE her. She is so awesome, honest, sincere and beautiful! Finally a woman who embraces her curves and is helping other curvy woman find clothes that don’t look like tarps or moo-moos! She is a Queen to me!

TCS on

Why are the women modeling her clothes all skinny, curveless women? And, can you repect my dollar a little more by not making the stuff so expensive?

Cass on

Just checked out this collection, $49.90 for a long sleeve tshirt. How is that affordable for the every day working mother? Besides the price, everything looks super cute.

Tammie on

I was so happy to see that there is a line of clothing for larger women. I respect that Queen Latifah wanted to make it easier for the plus size woman to find decent clothing at an affordable price. Then I went to HSN & saw that there really isn’t anything affordable. So sad.

Your Favorite Hag on

Her designs never turned my crank.

Isn’t she with a new girlfriend?

Roll it on

She such a beautiful woman. Love her. Just goes to show you don’t need to be pencil thin.

FT on

Unfortunately, a ‘plus-sized’ model is actually a size 7 typically. Considerably larger than the size 0 models we normally see. No wonder girls grow up with such warped self images.

guest on

Jennifer Hudson has a thing or two to learn from Latifah….curvy and happy!

Kate on

I love her to death. I would be willing to bet she is the most down to earth celebrity anyone would ever meet. She isn’t fancy, showy or uppity at all and she is a ball of talent. I hope everything she touches turns to pure gold in her grasp. You go girl.

Lena on

Love QL! Wish she has gone up a bit on the size scale for the line she’s doing. Really only to size 24? I’m a 32 top myself and it’s really hard to shop. But, if the tops are $50 a pop guess I won’t be missing anything. Doesn’t seem at all affordable like she claims. Anyway, always thought she was a beautiful woman and confident. Good luck to her with the line.

S on

Queen Latifah is great. She is so nice and is always doing something positive. She is a great woman.

my $.02 on

She is *always* one of the best dressed, most beautiful women on the red carpet.

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rahaf on

she is a awesome woman woooo!!

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