Style sensation TV star Nadine Reid on her debut fashion collection: 'I'm a crown and ballgown girl'
Former Xposé star Nadine Reid is a journalist and TV presenter living in Dublin. Here she models her debut collection for Littlewoods Ireland and she tells Denise Smith why she can't wait to showcase her edits, now available for plus-size women everywhere.
Seven months into a global pandemic Zoom fatigue is officially upon us and as can sometime es be expected, there are some minor technical difficulties when I dial into a conference call with our cover girl, Nadine Reid, on a crisp Wednesday morning.
The former Xposé presenter, podcaster, fashion columnist and all-round joy-bringer is showing no signs of fatigue when our lines are finally connected. Her hug-in-a-mug personality and eternal optimism is what has endeared her to the nation.
Something which hasn't petered out when the make-up artist-turned-TV presenter talks through her hotly-anticipated debut collection with Littlewoods.
A collection of six looks spanning 36 items, the Nadine Reid x Littlewoods Ireland range is available in sizes 16-28 and it's just as sassy and brimming over with personality as the Birmingham beauty herself.
"I'm a crown and ball gown girl," laughs Nadine.
"Working with Littlewoods really gave me that chance to reconnect with that kind of comfortable, real woman style of fashion. Yeah, it's probably a bit more mainstream. However, I still had the chance to add the pizzazz. So I'm not wearing ballgowns and crowns, but you'll see really sassy shiny painted red handbags and accessories like gold earrings with diamonds in them.
"I've added pockets of my personality in smaller ways but I'm still wearing clothes that are me, a step up from the leggings and joggers, you know, because we've been at that for a while now to be honest. I'm kind of over loungewear.
"There is also a real 70s vibe to the range too. It's not like massive floral trousers or anything like that. But there's still a beautiful nod to the 70s in the corduroy dress to the high polo neck and pieces of leather."
Since jetting onto the small screen on the now defunct Xposé, the TV presenter has often been identified as a plus-size model and all-round style icon, but Nadine has no interest in being labelled a body positivity ambassador.
"I'm confident in myself, whatever type of shape you are you should feel fabulous but let's be honest, there can be a lack of choices when it comes to shopping. I've been wearing Littlewoods clothes since I've lived in Ireland, what I love about Littlewoods is that they actually pay attention to what is trending and what is cool.
"Sometimes brands think when it comes to a size 22, we don't need to do fashion, we'll just give them stuff that fits.
"I want to say this now, I am not an official body positive ambassador, but when I'm talking to my friends who are worrying that they've put on a pound or two, yes, look after yourself and your health but let's be honest when a fella is lying down with a naked woman he is delighted, one pound over, one pound less. If a man is saying, 'I noticed that your waist isn't as pulled in as it is normally is then 'goodbye, see you later'.
"We all struggle at times, don't get me wrong, I look at it myself sometimes and say Nads 'maybe today you'll have a salad?' What is important is listening to your body. If you need to move more or eat different things. But we should be easy on ourselves at this time as well. So yes, be mindful of our health, of course. But then I think we should also be kinder to ourselves because we're in a pandemic. It's not easy at the moment so I think it's okay if you have an extra biscuit. It will be okay."
As one of the few black, plus-size women in the Irish media landscape Nadine recognises the the importance of her role.
"I grew up around so many cousins, uncles, aunts and family that I didn't realise I was living in a very white dominated place because I'd be with my family a lot.
"Now I'm starting to get a lot of people saying, 'my daughters and sons can see you, and they can see that they are represented now. If you're a minority and there's no other black people around you, you can be a bit like, 'Oh, maybe I should have looked like my best friend, and have straight blonde hair', so I see the importance of it."
For now, Nadine is still coming to terms with her notoriety.
"I do get stopped sometimes, a man down the road walking his dog often says, 'Hello Mrs Littlewoods. I was having a coffee with a friend the other other week and two women approached me. I kind of know them from the area and they just ran over to me. It was a woman and her daughter and they just started to recreate the little dance routine from the Littlewoods advert in the middle of the road. I had to record it. It's been great fun and I hope people love the collection as much as I do."
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