Paula Deen has stepped out of the kitchen and into the closet for her next business venture. The former Food Network star launched her own clothing line that she hopes will appeal to women of all shapes and sizes — from the apples to the bananas.
As Deen discussed her new line, Paula Deen’s Closet, with People, she explained that it was a natural next step. She pointed out that one of the most common questions she has gotten throughout her career has nothing to do with what she’s cooking; it’s about what’s she’s wearing while she’s cooking.
“I’ve been trying to do this for years. It was a little hard for me to break out of the kitchen because that’s how people think of me. But if you notice, I never cooked naked. I was always wearing clothes! And one of my most asked questions out there — whether it’s in person, through the mail, or on Facebook — is ‘Paula, where did you get that top? Where did you get that outfit?’ So I wanted to do something like this because I understand the body that’s not perfect. You see all these things made for bananas. Well, I’m an apple. Most women are an apple or a pear. There are not many bananas.”
Women over 30-years-old who do not have “perfect bodies anymore” were kept in mind while creating Paula Deen’s Closet. Paula Deen wanted to make sure her clothing line, sold by digital retailer Evine Live, is comfortable yet flattering without being too revealing. Affordability was also a key point, so all items are priced at $60 or under.
“When you get up over 30, most of us don’t have those perfect bodies anymore. You have to accentuate your good points and try to camouflage your bad ones. I want to cover all body types. I am not trying to please just one person. I’m trying to please a multitude of people with this line.”
The skimpy styles seen on the red carpet today aren’t Paula Deen’s cup of tea. She thinks young ladies are showing way too much of themselves while trying to keep up with the current “role models” available to them. She wonders if perhaps “the Kardashians are somewhat responsible for that.”
Deen explains, in a way only she can, why her line will give coverage in all the right places. You won’t see any “catfish belly arms” or over-exposed cleavage with Paula Deen’s Closet.
“I don’t know how to say this to you in a nice way, but it has to cover my front privates. I want my shirttail to cover my front privates and hopefully my back, too. I am aware of ‘catfish belly’ arms. Have you ever seen a catfish? You know how they have a smooth floppy belly on them? Well, that’s what we refer to as ‘catfish belly’ arms.”
Women’s Wear Daily reports Paula Deen plans to add new items each month. For now, shoppers will find jackets, dresses, tops, and bottoms. Deen, who also has a kitchen, pantry, and home line, hopes to develop a jewelry line sometime in the future.
While Paula Deen wants her self-described “apple” shaped body and “catfish belly arms” covered, she does sport a more svelte figure than just a couple of years ago. Losing 40 pounds and keeping it off inspired the 69-year-old’s most recent cookbook, Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, which launched in the fall.
Paula Deen is holding several book signing events in support of the cookbook. Deen, well-known for her love of butter, credits small lifestyle changes and moderation for her weight-loss success. Paula Deen Cuts the Fat highlights “lightened up versions of fifty of her classic southern recipes.” It also offers brand new, healthy recipes that are lower in calories, but high in flavor.
The next Paula Deen Cuts the Fat book signing will be April 25 at Barnes & Noble in Knoxville, Tennessee.
[Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for Evine]