THE BEAUTY IN AN UGLY SWEATER

The View host in­jects her whim­si­cal per­son­al­ity into a line of Christ­mas knits

Toronto Star - - LIFE - VALERIYA SAFRONOVA THE NEW YORK TIMES

Whoopi Gold­berg has been many things: ac­tor, pro­ducer, talk show host. But de­signer has not been among them. This week, how­ever, that changed. On Tues­day, a new line of “ugly Christ­mas sweaters” de­signed by Gold­berg went on sale at Hud­son’s Bay and Lord & Tay­lor.

Each of the nine vari­a­tions sells for $139 (U.S.) and is made of mix­tures of wool, al­paca, cash­mere and cot­ton.

“We loved Whoopi’s unique and whim­si­cal ap­proach to the tra­di­tional kitschy Christ­mas sweater,” Liz Rod­bell, pres­i­dent of the two de­part­ment stores, wrote in an email.

And the sweaters, ac­cord­ing to Gold­berg — who at­tended a hand­ful of New York Fash­ion Week shows last sea­son, walked/per­formed in the “Pageant of the Peo­ple” for the fash­ion re­tailer and la­bel Open­ing Cer­e­mony, and wore a hoodie by the cool-kid la­bel Vete­ments on The View — are hope­fully just the be­gin­ning of what may be a fourth (or fifth) ca­reer.

When it comes to fash­ion, as a re­cent con­ver­sa­tion re­vealed, she has plans.

Why ugly Christ­mas sweaters?

I’ve al­ways liked them. They make me happy. I’ve worn them for many years.

I thought about all the things I’d love to see on a sweater. Maybe a brown Santa. I have friends who are Jew­ish and Catholic and mar­ried to each other, so I had a big green tree, and I thought, “Well, what would you put on a big green tree if you’re a Jew­ish kid?” Well, you’d put lit­tle meno­rahs on, you’d put drei­dels on.

We have a “What makes the fam­ily?” sweater, which is this whole fam­ily, and this one guy is green, but you re­al­ize he’s their brother. You never know what kind of fam­ily is go­ing to come into your door.

Do you think you’ll make sweaters for other hol­i­days?

I don’t know if ev­ery­body is as ridicu­lous as I am. I don’t think any­body is go­ing to get you a Valen­tine’s Day sweater, be­cause you’re not re­ally go­ing to wear it out­side of that one day. Most peo­ple will just get you some candy.

What’s the best way to style a Christ­mas sweater?

Wear some black leg­gings and a crazy sweater. Men don’t wear leg­gings, so for them, jeans or some­thing rel­a­tively sim­ple, be­cause it’s the sweater that you want peo­ple to see.

Who are your dream col­lab­o­ra­tors?

Any­one who wants to have some fun and do some­thing dif­fer­ent. I love watch­ing Jeremy Scott be­cause he col­lab­o­rates with lots of dif­fer­ent peo­ple. Ri­hanna is col­lab­o­rat­ing with this one and that one.

When you’re look­ing at the kinds of things peo­ple are do­ing and what’s out there and who they’re reach­ing out to, I think to my­self, “What would that look like if I were do­ing it?”

We for­get that peo­ple over 45 have money also, and they want to dress well.

And you want to make it so they look cool in the stuff they’ve got on, as op­posed to look­ing very odd in stuff that’s too young for them. Older folks are out there.

Which de­sign­ers do you like to wear?

I like all the stuff over at Open­ing Cer­e­mony. I can’t wear Thom Browne, but I want to wear Thom Browne. Rosie As­soulin, I love how she makes things. I want to wear ev­ery­body.

But if I go from a 12 to a 14, I don’t want to feel like your clothes are no good for me. It’s been a while since I was a size 8.

When I go to the sites I some­times check, I see they’re not look­ing for me. They’re not car­ry­ing my sizes.

I think to as­sume some­one who is a size 14 isn’t stylish is a mis­take.

What’s next?

I’d love to de­sign house­wares. You shouldn’t be bored by the things in your house.

REBECCA SMEYNE/THE NEW YORK TIMES

Whoopi Gold­berg, in the dress­ing room for The View, with a se­lec­tion of ugly Christ­mas sweaters she de­signed. They will go on sale Tues­day.

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