With a thriving life as an in-demand actress, television and Broadway producer, bestselling author, beauty entrepreneur, wife and mother—with a newborn, no less—it’s hard to imagine that Gabrielle Union could possibly fit anything else on her already very full plate. But with the release of her latest collection with retailer New York & Company out today, she’s also making our holiday a little more fashionable with the help of some of her favorite costars and friends.
Raven Goodwin (Being Mary Jane), Ajiona Alexus (Breaking In), Essence Atkins (Marlon) and Valarie Pettiford (Being Mary Jane) all join Union for her latest #AllTogetherNow campaign, wearing an unabashedly festive array of fashions in brilliant red, shimmering silver and sparkling sequins.
Union graced The Glow Up with some insights on the newest collection in her ongoing and very successful collaboration with the retailer, which launched in August of 2017 to rave reviews. Now in her ninth collection, she confirmed that her involvement is far deeper than just lending her famous name to the label.
“One of my goals from the very beginning was to offer on-trend fashion at affordable prices,” she said. “Working with New York & Company was an easy decision because they do just that. I wasn’t given a short leash with the deal. New York & Company were really supportive of the ideas that I brought to the table and let me run with it.”
Remarkably, most of Union’s offerings with the line are under $100 and are inspired by her own very full life as a multi-hyphenate.
“When I’m in the design process, I really think of every woman because we are all multi-hyphenates,” she told us. “I want to create clothes that are stylish and comfortable. I love that you can mix-and-match and easily change a look from day-to-night. I know how busy women are and how many hats we all wear and I wanted my collection to be easy and all-inclusive.”
Speaking of inclusivity, both Union’s line and her campaign are size-inclusive, with extended sizes including petite and tall options ranging from XXS – XXL (00–20), with some plus size pieces ranging from 1X – 3X. When asked why such an extended range is imperative for her collections, Union’s answer was both compassionate and practical.
“I think that designer clothes that only fit a small part of the population is unfair and cruel,” she said. “I wanted to create a line that my family from Omaha, Nebraska, would wear and has access to. My mom, sisters, aunts, cousins, you name it! We have petite, tall and plus sizes. I wanted every woman to feel represented in this line.”
With that in mind, what powerful pieces will we be treating ourselves with this holiday season? Major standouts are a cape-sleeved red jumpsuit and a side-draped liquid lame mini dress, but also exciting are Union’s black sequin-fringe skirt, sequined rainbow-striped pencil skirt and wide-legged silver brocade pants—all of which could be easily styled for year-round day looks with tees and turtlenecks. (In fact, we wish this party-ready line had dropped ahead of this year’s Root 100 gala.)
Describing the collection as “festive, fun and elegant,” Union, who is currently in production for her new series, LA’s Finest, opposite Jessica Alba, is also giving us a healthy dose of diverse black girl magic in her accompanying #AllTogetherNow campaign. It’s a strategic move for the star, who famously eschewed “mean girl” Hollywood politics to wholeheartedly embrace fellow black actresses.
“Inclusion is important to me. I love celebrating black girl magic and all women,” Union told The Glow Up. “I do #WCW every week to celebrate women from all backgrounds and walks of life. Women supporting women can change the world. My #AllTogetherNow message is all about sisterhood and lifting each other up. I want women wearing my clothes to feel empowered.”
The Glow Up tip: You can shop Gabrielle Union’s latest collection for New York & Company here.