Louise Roe Sizes Up Fashion Star
By Kathryn Drury Wagner
Louise Roe—journalist, TV host, red-carpet reporter, and now fashion designer— strikes a pose at Mr. C Beverly Hills.
At a French café in the middle of West Hollywood, Louise Roe orders a proper cup of English breakfast tea. As the saying goes, you can take the girl out of Surrey, but you can’t take Surrey out of the girl. Still, there’s no doubt that Roe has come a long way.
This spring she steps into the spotlight as the new host of NBC’s Fashion Star, filling Elle Macpherson’s size 12 Louboutins. Fashion Star features up-and-coming designers competing for the attentions of buyers from Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, and Express—as well as celebrity judges Nicole Richie, John Varvatos, and Jessica Simpson. At the end of each episode, the winning clothing designs are immediately available for purchase; and at season’s end, one “Fashion Star” is granted a $6 million capsule-collection deal.
Fashion Star is “my absolute dream job,” says Roe, 31, who chased her dream from London to Los Angeles when she heard the job was available, meeting with NBC execs and racing back to resume filming her makeover show, Plain Jane, all within 24 hours. (Roe hosts both the British and the American versions of the show, which airs on MTV internationally.)
The daughter of a travel writer, Roe (recently engaged to model Josh Slack) had set her sights on becoming a journalist. She earned a degree in English literature and in 2006, was interning at Wedding magazine when a cameraphobic editor sent her off to do a TV segment. “I was so nervous, I couldn’t sleep,” Roe says. “And then… I loved it.” She’s juggled print and TV ever since, appearing on shows like How Do I Look? and Fashion Police; serving as fashion editor-at-large for Glamour; and penning articles for Men’s Health, vogue.com, Elle, and InStyle.
True, “you can write in your PJs with a cup of tea, but that adrenaline rush of live TV, I can’t compare it to anything else,” says Roe, who now lives in West Hollywood. “I was doing the Emmy pre-show once, and we lost power to our cameras and earpieces. I still kept going for 20 minutes!” She’s still going: This year, she brought her fashion savvy to the red carpet, covering the Golden Globes and the Oscars for Access Hollywood.
Known for a boho, Talitha Getty–inspired personal style, Roe brings her vibrant-hued flair to an eponymous collection of shoes, jewelry, and handbags for the London-based brand Stylistpick. Her line is sold in 27 countries, and there are plans to bring it to the US in 2013.
With her UK chic, you might be forgiven for expecting Roe to be all buttered scones and bone china, but she quickly puts that idea to rest. “I love dive bars and sports bars. Give me a big bowl of nachos,” she laughs, amused to be the one to explode her own myths. “I know, you weren’t expecting that!”
photography by scott nathan; hair by luke chamberlain for starworks artists; makeup by adam j. breuchaud for starworks artists. leather top and skirt, Tibi; shoes, louis vuitton, jewelry, topshop