How Real Housewife Roxy Earle is Changing the Fashion Industry for Good
“I want to have clothes worthy of the entrances I want to make in his world.”
It’s impossible not to love Roxy Earle. The boisterous, bubbly brunette is still best known for her star turn on the Real Housewives of Toronto – Possibly her best quote: “High maintenance is just another word for high quality” – yet in the two years since the show, has transitioned from the portrait of a pampered princess into a bona fide body positivity activist. When I arrive at a boardroom in downtown Toronto to meet her, she’s clad in a clingy white jumpsuit from her Le Château collection, in stores June 15th, which she excitedly dubs her “J. Lo moment.” In addition to her sparkly manicure and diamond ring with a rock the size of a kumquat, she’s got a deep tan from splitting her time between Toronto and her home in Newport Beach, California. “I live in The OC,” she laughs. Earle lives in the lap of luxury, but it’s impossible to begrudge her for it because she wears it so well. “Ask me anything,” she invites. “I’m an open book. An excitable open book.”
We spoke with Roxy about her feminist awakening, her new collection with Le Château, and the legacy she’ll leave on the fashion world.
On her decision to appear on the Real Housewives of Toronto
I’d had a lot of success at a young age in advertising and marketing and I was at a point in my life where I had truly become a housewife. I lost a piece of myself. Then the Housewives came along and in a weird way, it was like I had always been meant to be on TV. I went on television and I got my mojo back. It was something for me.
On the inspiration to start her own clothing line
When I was on the Real Housewives, I had this moment where I went to this trunk show that kind of represented my entire life in fashion. (Author’s note: In episode 6, castmate Kara Alloway holds a trunk show featuring only sample sizes, conspicuously excluding Earle.) So I’m standing in a room with a bunch of glamorous women and there are beautiful designer clothes and everyone is trying something on and of course nothing fits me. It was this moment where I realised, this is enough. I want to have clothes worthy of the entrances I want to make in his world.
On shopping as a “plus size” woman
I’ve always kind of had this image of who I wanted to be. I’ve always been glamorous and into style and fashion, but I haven’t been able to dress the way I wanted to dress. Why should I be told, ‘You’re actually not good enough for this store, so you have to go to a special store.’ And then I walk into that store and everything sucks! I don’t want to wear these clothes! This is not who I am. There’s got to be more for me out there. And there wasn’t. I’m done with having beauty standards and ideals forced on me. Am I a feminist? Absolutely. Is this about more than clothes? You bet it is.
On how she linked up with Le Château
They called me one day and said, ‘We’d love to send you some clothes.’ I said, ‘Do you have clothes that fit me?’ And they said ‘Yes!’ I thought that was so impressive that they even went up to that sizing. Then we did a little photo shoot and I sat down with the team afterwards and said, ‘I’m going to design a collection for you.’ They were like, ‘What?’ I didn’t want this to be a plus size collection, because my whole mission is about all sizes, and abolishing plus size. That would have contradicted what I was trying to do.
On how she’s changing the fashion industry
This is the first time in North America that a big girl can walk into a store with her best friend and shop off the same rack. That’s a big deal. This is a moment in Canadian fashion and I’m proud that I’ve somehow created it. It’s so people have access to great style. It’s segregation. Can you think of another brand [that offers this]? Because it’s not happening. I’m going to make it happen. I am changing the fashion industry.
On how she turned her Real Housewives appearance into something more
I’m here to do something that other girls don’t have the resources or access to do. And the Housewives got me that. The Housewives was a wonderful incredible platform and I’m deeply proud that I could take a show that’s about women fighting and at a moment like this in time, make it about empowering women.
On body image
Ironically, the thing that I have spent so much life fretting over, stressing over, being negative towards, which was my body, will ironically become my greatest legacy. Somehow, my figure and my body will be the greatest thing that I can give to the world, and that’s a really strange thing when you’ve spent a whole lot of your life hating yourself. If you’ve hated your body for so long and talked about changing it and you’ve done every juice cleanse, cayenne pepper diets and worked out for 5 hours straight… at that same moment something shifts and that very thing becomes what empowers you. It’s just very powerful.