Melissa McCarthy: Why I'm Starting a Plus-Size Clothing Line

06/04/2014 at 12:18 PM ET

Melissa McCarthy Matt Jones for Redbook

Melissa McCarthy has always been vocal about her inability to find red carpet-ready dresses, going so far as to design her own Emmys gown when she hated everything off on the rack. And she shares that not much has changed, despite her A-list status.

“When I go shopping, most of the time I’m disappointed. Two Oscars ago, I couldn’t find anybody to do a dress for me. I asked five or six designers — very high-level ones who make lots of dresses for people — and they all said no,” she says in the July issue of Redbook. That’s why she teamed with couturier Daniella Pearl (her Emmys dress co-designer) to create a line of plus-size clothing for women who might not have access to a seamstress-slash-friend at their disposal.

RELATED: Get the latest on plus size style with our blogger Allison Teng!

She hasn’t always been an arbiter for style at any size, though; McCarthy also shares her college yearbook photos are more embarrassing than most. “I wore white kabuki makeup, had blue-black hair. At one point I shaved an inch and a half around my hairline and continued the white makeup up so it made my head look slightly deformed,” she says. “I thought it was hilarious. I was in a little town and I just got a kick out of it. I was never sullen. I was a terrible punk — I was still so chatty.”

These days that sense of humor is paying off, especially in her marriage with fellow comedian Ben Falcone. “We have a great marriage, and outside forces can’t really change that,” she says. “Success doesn’t define us, even though we love what we do. The important thing is our family and kids.” For more from McCarthy, including how she teaches her kids about fame, check out the new issue (on stands June 10) and tell us: Are you excited to see McCarthy’s designs? How much would you love to see those college photos?

–Alex Apatoff

FILED UNDER: Fashion , Magazine Covers

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I know she’s good with comedy, but why do they always have to show the heavy girls in clown or goof-off poses? Plus size women can be chic too. And I wish she named the designers who refused her. I am plus-sized, earn a really good income, have money to spend on clothes for myself – and as gifts for friends and families. If designers don’t make a plus component, then I don’t buy anything from them (clothing gifts, bags, shoes, scarves – NOTHING). I hope others do the same.

Fegs on

She should list the designers who turned her down. They should be boycotted.

Nina WALL on

fantastic I love Melissa McCarthy and I want to know where I can get some of her clothes im plus size too .

Sarah S. on

I will buy her clothing if the price is right. It’s hard to buy some nice & economical plus-size pieces that don’t make me look like a senior or even bigger than I am. I wish her the best!!

Barbara on

What an EXCELLENT idea Melissa! I can’t wait to see what you come out with!! Keep us posted!

Susan Ranahan on

Looking forward to seeing your designs!! Please for the love of God do not make them 100% polyester!!! Why the heck they do that to us plus side goddesses I will never know!!!

Love ya Melissa!!

gina on

Melissa (sooky) Cannot wait to see your line !!! As a plus size girl from the south suburbs of Chicago all I ask is make affordable….Remember what your income was in Plainfield ??

Lexie on

Now here’s some wonderful news. Not everybody is a size 2-4-6-8-10. Please give us a little larger some cute, cute clothes to choose from!

Connie Hanner on

Outstanding that a celebrity has taken on the style industry and will champion the frightening world of plus-sized clothing. I’m tired of wearing a modified Mumu. You cannot take a size 12 fashion and simply increase the size. The proportions are all wrong. Curvy women have issues with bust lines not fitting correctly, shoulder lines accentuating rather than minimizing a large silhouette. Please help those of us who would like to wear something that fits! Bravo Ms. Melissa. Let us know where we can see it, try it, buy it…or better yet, weigh in on the design of what we really need in plus sized fashion. Thanks! :)

Janet on

I think it’s great that she is going to start her own clothing line. Although she should have called out those designers who wouldn’t dress her, it wouldn’t have done any good because today’s society is based on looks, plain and simple. When her clothing line comes out, my wish is that they are affordable, good quality, and made in the USA.

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