Jaclyn Smith On Farrah Fawcett, New Wig Line
A star from the original Charlie's Angels, Jaclyn Smith is an iconic actress who has a passion for making women feel their most beautiful every day. Smith has worked closely with Kmart for the last 25 years and has established herself as a savvy fashionista who is also one of the first celebrities ever to start their own line of clothing. She is now embarking on a new venture: a line of wigs that look and feel natural while staying true to quality and affordability.
Smith remained close to fellow Angel Farrah Fawcett up to the time of her death in 2009. "I was right there with her," Smith told Uinterview exclusively. "You're always close and you always pick up the phone, but certainly toward the end I was right there for her and right by her side trying to help her husband [Ryan O'Neill] talk to her and watching how brave and strong she was. It was very difficult because I lost my mother around that time too, so it's been a hard year."
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- Q: We lost Farrah Fawcett in 2009. Did you stay in contact with her in those last years? - Monica Davies
- A: Oh, absolutely. I was right there with her. You're always close and you always pick up the phone, but certainly toward the end I was right there for her and right by her side trying to help her husband [Ryan O'Neill] talk to her and watching how brave and strong she was. It was very difficult because I lost my mother around that time too, so it's been a hard year. My mother and I were so close and my mother was in the hospital when Farrah passed away, so I had gotten on the plane to come back for the funeral and when I landed my mom had a turn, so I got right back on the plane and I thought, 'Well Farrah would be the first one...' She was close to her mother and I was close to mine, and we shared all that. We had great families and that was something we understood in each other. So, it just was not an easy time. There's a gap, and I just don't think you ever fill certain gaps. You just don't. Those gaps are there and I guess you say, 'Hey, you choose the tears and the pain because you certainly had the best mom and Farrah was a dear friend.' It's hard — there are no words for it.
- Q: What are your plans for the rest of the summer and what big projects do you have up next? - Ahmed Mori
- A: Well, Cheryl [Ladd] and I have been talking about doing a television series, and so we might do that. It would be a half-hour comedy, but it is in the works. You know what, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to say yet — it was for a network. But it's a great idea and something that's right for Cheryl and I, so we'll see. Also, I have not had a family trip in a while and I'm hoping to take some time this summer to travel with both my children and my husband. I have my big 25th year celebration in New York in September for Kmart, so that involves a lot. And we have a house in Santa Barbara and we're doing that over too.
- Q: Where did the idea come about to start your wig line? - Virginia Chu
- A: Well, I was approached by Paula Young, which has been an industry leader for many years. As you know, I've been branding for 25 years for Kmart. I've gone into other areas of the home, so I thought, 'Oh this sounds good' because again they're all under the same umbrella — it's fashion. With wigs, 21 million women have thinning hair — 1 out of every 4 women will experience some sort of hair loss in their adult life. Also, being an actress, I realized how many actresses today use wigs and extensions, it's just part of the modern way of grooming today. So, I jumped at the chance and brought in my long time friend, Jose Eber, who is really a friend before being my hair stylist. Jose has created so many iconic hairstyles and worked with so many people, I thought that with him on board I would have an incredible team, because he understands hair. We're able to do these wigs anywhere from $69 to $190 with a human hair blend and the synthetic today, which are very easy and it is very real looking. The key is not to have too much hair in the wig and to have multi-colors to the wig, so it doesn't look like a hat - not just one solid color.
- Q: It seems like today women are more candid about using wigs and extensions. Why do you think there's this cultural shift going on? - kathyjacob
- A: I think Hollywood led the way. Most people don't even know that many women have permanent extensions, which is something I wouldn't want to do because I'm pretty much a purist — I like to clip it in and clip it out. I like to run my hands through my hair. But I think it's done so beautifully. If I want more blond in my hair, I'll use a smaller extension on the side or in the back, and it's volumizing my hair, or giving me an extra little streak of blond while you don't have to torture your hair. But, I do think it has become a fashion statement, everything's so sophisticated today. A bad hair day is not a good day for a woman. I mean, when you think of what's out there to enhance your looks today, why not do it with hair? Women are sophisticated, they want to be the best they can be and hair is no different. I just think it has become part of women's fashion trends to keep up and be the best you can be. We also have something called the hair volumizer, which goes on the top of your hair, and you pull your own hair through it, so it makes your hair look thicker, healthier, and it mixes in with your own.
- Q: Are your wigs a mix of human and synthetic hair? - Virginia Chu
- A: Yes, it started with synthetic, but because we've been successful, we've gone into a blend of human with synthetic, which can be washed and styled and ironed - so now we have both. We have lace-front wigs, which are kind of amazing, because if a woman is going through chemo or alopecia, here are wigs with a natural hair line and hair that looks like it's growing right out of the scalp. And, these wigs are available for an affordable price. My goal has always been to give women quality at affordable prices - that's just been something I've been consistent with through all my years at Kmart and the wigs follow there. I can't believe we can do these wigs for this price. Women can go to the Paula Young catalog or PaulaYoung.com or JaclynSmith.com, and they will see a variety of styles and options. It just makes life easier. Even if you're just at the beach having a bad hair day and you want to plop on a ponytail or volumizier - it's all there.
- Q: Now, how do people maintain the original style, texture, and color of these wigs? - sweetpea
- A: Well, on a synthetic wig, they have a solution and you just wash it and let it air-dry. The same with the blend, they will give you a solution. But, the thing about that is you can put an iron on it, you can put a hot roller in it. If you want to tweak it, that's fine. You can cut the synthetic. You can cut the blend. You can cut all these wigs to suit your face, and the shape, and the style you want. But, each wig has a name and comes with a particular style.
- Q: You are coming up on the 25th anniversary of your line with Kmart. Why has your partnership worked so well? - Kathy Jacob
- A: Well, I think certainly quality, affordability, hard work [laughs]. I don't think people realize, when I started this it was 1985. I had turned Kmart down because I didn't think of apparel in Kmart. When I finally took a meeting, and I saw this 100% cotton shirt for the [low] price, it was very reminiscent of Ralph Lauren. You know, I designed my senior prom dress, and my mother wanted to be a fashion designer. I thought, 'Wow, this is another area." I was under contact with Max Factor, and they said, 'No this isn't your customer we don't want to.' Even as a young girl, I loved getting a good buy, and I thought, 'I want to do this.' So, I took it on. At the beginning I had to convince them that not everything had to be a pastel color, to use a khaki pair of pants or black pin-striped suit; It was a constant battle — can we do this or put this in this collection because everything was a certain way and I wanted to change it to the way I dressed. That's what it is now, it's classic, interchangeable separates... clothes to build a wardrobe on. That's my goal — to make life easier for woman by giving them ease about shopping, to make them feel good about themselves by giving them some ideas and direction. I love fashion, but some woman are sort of at a loss, 'What do I put with this? Can I change this?' I think today, with our economy, women want to be smart, even if they are going to go buy something very expensive — mix it up.
- Q: You're still known for your role in Charlie's Angels. Why do you think it still has resonance even today? - Monica Davies
- A: You know, that's a good question! I think it came along at a time, a great time in television, a time where there weren't three great women in the lead. It was fun, it was glamorous to a certain extent. It had the bonding of the girls, the friendship, and then it had Charlie. I think it had elements that are timeless in it. I think the casting was right on. There was somebody for everyone. You know, we were all so different. I don't think we were interchangeable, and I think people of all ages enjoyed it. But I think Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg cast it right, and put all the right elements together, and it just clicked. And you know, sometimes it's hard to explain what makes something stand out.
- Q: Now, is there a memory from those years that stands out as being the most vivid to you? - sweetpea
- A: You know, I think certainly the first season when we became overnight [celebrities] — you don't stand in line at the movies or at Disneyland anymore. I think the friendship of the first season stands out because it changed our lives overnight and that's not to say when Cheryl [Ladd] joined — she didn't miss a beat and that was great, too. But, I think the impact of that show comes from the first season. I think Aaron called one morning in makeup and was like, 'Gosh you girls beat Gone With The Wind, the greatest movie of all time!' I thought, 'No!' Even though I wanted to be number one, I didn't want to beat Gone With The Wind! That was my dream, you know, I was called Scarlett O'Hara as a little girl. I really learned a lot over the course of the show. It was an education for me doing the series and the girls were great — they were my friends.
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