This Roxy Earle interview is part of Street Meet, FLEETSTREET’s series, where we meet up with trailblazers and thought leaders to deliver unique insight and inspiration into issues we all care about.
Who doesn’t want to shine? Who doesn’t want to feel good? Um, all of us. Who doesn’t know this? The fashion industry, maybe. “I think what was missing in fashion is that it was as if clothes were only designed for one type of woman,” Roxy Earle tells me on the phone from her home. The reality TV personality and entrepreneur takes 10 minutes to chat with me, as she holds her baby in one arm, scrolls her DMs in the other (yes, she reads them), right before her hair and makeup team get their hands on her for an event later in the day. I interviewed Earle back in 2017, when I was editor at besthealthmag.ca, and she brings the glam and frankness today, just as she did that day. Known for body positivity and her Joe Fresh fashion capsule collections, so natch we talked about clothes and the impact it can have on women.
FLEETSTREET: How has being a cast member on The Real Housewives of Toronto impacted your ability to connect to women through clothing?
Roxy Earle: I mean, we’re all real women, right? … And I thought we were all excluded [from fashion] – from a price point, from a body standpoint. There were so many things that made fashion – especially trendy, fabulous pieces – hard to find if you were anything other than that “one type of woman.” … And when I think of every single time I needed to get dressed for the Housewives or appearances or red carpets, it was so stressful, because there were no clothes in my size. I am a size 12/14. If there aren’t clothes in my size, that shows there are so many people left out of fashion. And so, that’s where I would say, these [Joe Fresh] collections were born out of – wanting to fill that gap. If you’re looking at clothes for curvier women, just everything is so boring. And honestly, it wasn’t about celebrating women. There were no shorter hemlines and things that were loud and sparkly. There wasn’t any elegance and nothing was elevated. It was to hide the body, and I wanted women to shine.
The Real Housewives gave me a platform, but nobody goes on a show where they are fighting with five other women to turn it into a platform to empower women. That was pretty surprising. When I went on the show, thinking about what might come of it, I could have never imagined that it would open up this communication line between me and women across our country.
What does inclusivity mean for you in clothes?
I have a beautiful understanding of a woman with curves. But my collections are designed from extra small to 3X, so that everybody, or as many people as possible, can be included. I don’t think people realize that we sell so many mediums. Like, it’s not like this is just a plus collection. We have so many customers who just want clothes that are fashionable, trendy and at a great price. And so for me, inclusivity is not about plus size, inclusivity is about “my” size.
I notice athletic touches and functionality in your clothes, along with the glam. How do you balance it?
I’m sitting here, talking to you, and I’ve got an eight-week-old baby in one hand, I’ve got my hair and makeup team getting me ready for something, I’ve got my computer in front of me. I need functional clothes. I want to look fabulous and feel fabulous, but I also have two young children running around. I tried not to make impractical clothes. I tried to make clothes that people can wear in different ways.
Comfort is important to me. I really, really, really, really press for comfort and elegance because I want to go out and enjoy my night out and not want to take off my stilettos.
I think about comfort when it comes to clothes because when you’re comfortable you’re confident. I tried on designer stilettos yesterday with a stylist, and I put them on and I was like, “I can’t walk around the house. How am I supposed to go out and feel confident in the world? I can’t even walk in these ” They migct’ve been trendy. They might’ve been fashionable. When you’re not confident and you can’t rock the look.
Background photo: Rinck Content Studio from Unsplash
Roxy Sparkle Puffer with PrimaLoft $99 at joefresh.com
What’s your favourite piece? What’s your ride-or-die?
That sparkly bomber is everything. Imagine walking out into a snowstorm wearing it. I’m going to wear it skiing. I’ll be on the ski hill, with my black snow pants and my sparkly bomber. This is everything.