Tracee Ellis Ross: "A Big Part Of My Creative Expression Goes To My Clothing"

Photo: VMAL/Star Max/GC Images.
Tracee Ellis Ross loves fashion. So much so that she’s been imagining — if she ever had the chance — what her clothing line would look like, for quite some time. In fact, she joked on Wednesday night in New York, as she presented her new collection for J.C. Penney, that she showed up to her first design meeting full of ideas. “I want to make a jacket,” she mimicked for the crowd. “I want to nip it in the waist here, I think it should hit just about *here* on the leg, and I want to make sure the shoulder comes out just a little bit — not too much so that it’s exaggerated but that your waist, no matter which woman that is, it just pops.” She then gestured to the rack of holiday clothing, saying “and this is what happened.” One look at the offering, and it’s safe to say Ross knows her stuff — and that she came by it honestly.
“It started as armor," Ross tells Refinery29 of her relationship with clothing. "It’s one of the ways I protected myself, it’s how I wear my inside on my outside, or how I protect my inside.” She continued, saying: “It’s one of the ways I present myself to the world that makes me feel empowered, and it's also one of the ways I feel joyful. A big part of my creative expression goes to my clothing, so I feel like the line represents those two things.” It’s the Black-ish star's hope that the collection helps people feel confident and empowered in their own skin, something her own wardrobe helps her do.
“I’m the girl who loves to shop, and if I use that hashtag on Instagram, it means this is a piece that I bought myself, from my actual closet. It means it’s me and my stylist had nothing to do with it,” she tells Refinery29. And while she's had many-a red carpet hits, it's her off-duty, done-herself style we love the best. Here's our favorite #StyledByMoi (a.k.a. styled by the Tracee Ellis Ross) looks.

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