Just before we all broke up for those Easter holidays, I travelled to Runcorn on a very exciting mission. I had been asked by Littlewoods and Shop Direct group if I would like to interview Coleen Rooney. This was a question that I didn’t even hesitate to answer. YES! Coleen is a fashionista par excellence – a lady who certainly knows her way around a pair of Louboutins or a Roksanda Ilincic dress, whilst also producing an amazing range of fashion forward looks for Littlewoods. She is chic, elegant, and a mommy – I just knew that she’d be a fantastic person to have a chat with about fashion. And I was so right. Here’s that interview – in full.
1. Your new collection for Littlewoods is fabulous – what was the inspiration behind it?
I always find it easier in Summer to get things into the collection, particularly in terms of colour. I met with the design team and talked about florals and bright colours – I love colour! Then there are the basics that I like to keep in every year, like the dress with the cinched in waist and beading – this seems to work from season to season, so this season we have produced it in coral. I’m not inspired by just one thing, I like a bit of this and that, different shapes, lengths – hopefully something for everyone.
2.How much involvement do you have in the Creative process?
I have lots of input, the team are great with me,they listen. We have long meetings where we brainstorm ideas about colours, prints and shapes and create mood boards. We then attach garments to colours and fabric swabs. There are lots of meetings before garments actually get made. And I still sometimes change things at the last-minute, for instance on the A/W 12/13 shoot there is a white tuxedo jacket that had black buttons, I asked if they could be changed to gold.
3. Why, in particular, do you like designing for Littlewoods?
I’d grown up with Littlewoods, my MUM used to have the catalogue when I was a little girl. I’ve always thought it was down-to-earth and approachable as a brand. When I was approached I knew this was the perfect place for me – the team were so helpful and supportive of me, I knew I would need this support as I was new to this. I’ve really enjoyed working with Littlewoods, and just love the meetings where we get that finished product.
4. What are your favourite pieces from the current collection?
I love the cherry print dress. It’s the sort of dress that doesn’t look much on the hanger, but on it looks amazing. I wore it last week and it feels so nice on – effortless and glamorous. I’m really pleased with the swimwear range, the cherry print bikini is underwired and gives great support for the bust, whilst the briefs fit so well. I also love the zebra print playsuit.
5. Do you think becoming a MUM has had any effect on the clothes you design – do you look at fashion in a different way now?
No – except I wear more flats now! I did wear heels every day because I could, but since having Kai and having to get pushchairs out of the car etc, I find flats easier, especially on gravel.
6. Who were your style icons growing up – and what about now?
My style icons change all the time – people look good in certain things. Growing up I looked to pop stars. Now I admire Blake Lively, both in Gossip Girl and in real life. I also look to Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, I love to look back at their style. But icons do change.
7. You made Cricket famous – do you still shop there, and which designers do you look for?
I’m not sure I made it famous, but there was a lot of paparazzi and I was photographed with the bags. It was one or it might have actually been the first place to stock Stella McCartney in the north-west and definitely the shop introduced new things to Liverpool. I have a good relationship with the owners, they’re friends and they have a good eye for key brands, like Celine. I got my first Balenciaga bag from there. I love that shop.
8. What do you consider to be your best style moment(s)?
For big events like Red Carpet events you tend to shop for the event so wear special things. But my biggest style moment was my wedding. It went on for four days and I had a dress for every event. So many dresses, with a Grecian style theme running throughout. They were designed by Marchesa and were all beautiful. I was going to leave my actual wedding dress on but it was so big and it was just too hot so I had to change.
9. Would you like to branch out with your own label a la Victoria Beckham?
Never say Never, but at the minute I’m happy where I am. It’s quite nice having help from Littlewoods. I do think Victoria Beckham has done fantastic with the range.
10. You’re part of a Sports family. Do you think you’d ever branch out into designing sportswear, gym wear like Stella McCartney?
Never thought of that before, am always looking for new things to try and I’ve just started to get into the gym. There is a lot of great stuff out there – I like Sweaty Betty’s.
11. Your campaigns have focussed on Real Women – why do you think real women love your collections so much?
I always try to cater for everyone, I’m pleased my collections do seem to suit most people. I try to be myself and women seem to connect to that. I would like to say that I’m approachable and that the Littlewoods collection is too.
12. You are often photographed wearing your collection – do you think this is important?
Yes. I don’t wear my collection day in day out, I like to mix it with things from my own wardrobe. Today I’m wearing this top and jacket from my collection with jeans from my wardrobe. I wear the pieces because I like them, not because I have to – the collections are based on what I like, that’s why I wear them.
13.Describe a typical everyday outfit for Coleen.
It depends on what I am doing. I tend to dress down, gym stuff for the nursery run, then jeans and flats or a tracksuit. I’m really into bootleg jeans at the moment, with floral blouses and wedges. I like the contrast of getting dressed up for the evening. I’m not a trouser person, that’s why there are not too many in the collections, but I’m just starting to get into wearing shorts.
14. Can you give readers a fashion tip for the new season?
Skirts! I think they are the next big thing. There are lots of great ones on the High Street, high waisted that bloom out, lots of floral patterns. I love the slim fitting pencil skirts and the Versace style big prints.
15.What’s next for Coleen Rooney?
At the minute it’s working with Littlewoods on the next season. I want to keep making the collections stronger. I’m really pleased with the Summer collection. And there’s Kai, having a child takes up a lot of time, I’m lucky not having to work nine-to-five.
With huge thanks to Coleen Rooney for being so lovely, and to all at shop direct and Isobar Social for arranging the interview, and for all the wonderful goodies I left with.x