Melissa McCarthy: Why I'm Starting a Plus-Size Clothing Line

06/04/2014 at 12:18 PM ET

Melissa McCarthy Matt Jones for Redbook

Melissa McCarthy has always been vocal about her inability to find red carpet-ready dresses, going so far as to design her own Emmys gown when she hated everything off on the rack. And she shares that not much has changed, despite her A-list status.

“When I go shopping, most of the time I’m disappointed. Two Oscars ago, I couldn’t find anybody to do a dress for me. I asked five or six designers — very high-level ones who make lots of dresses for people — and they all said no,” she says in the July issue of Redbook. That’s why she teamed with couturier Daniela Kurrle (her Emmys dress co-designer) to create a line of plus-size clothing for women who might not have access to a seamstress-slash-friend at their disposal.

RELATED: Get the latest on plus size style with our blogger Allison Teng!

She hasn’t always been an arbiter for style at any size, though; McCarthy also shares her college yearbook photos are more embarrassing than most. “I wore white kabuki makeup, had blue-black hair. At one point I shaved an inch and a half around my hairline and continued the white makeup up so it made my head look slightly deformed,” she says. “I thought it was hilarious. I was in a little town and I just got a kick out of it. I was never sullen. I was a terrible punk — I was still so chatty.”

These days that sense of humor is paying off, especially in her marriage with fellow comedian Ben Falcone. “We have a great marriage, and outside forces can’t really change that,” she says. “Success doesn’t define us, even though we love what we do. The important thing is our family and kids.” For more from McCarthy, including how she teaches her kids about fame, check out the new issue (on stands June 10) and tell us: Are you excited to see McCarthy’s designs? How much would you love to see those college photos?

–Alex Apatoff

FILED UNDER: Fashion , Magazine Covers
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Showing 40 comments

NW Mama on

What a great idea and for all those girl’s looking for a prom dress as well who need a plus size.
You Rock Melissa!!

Ale on

It would have been great if she had mentioned the designer’s names. Idiot designers who only make clothes for über skinny women.

Marcie on

Good for her! I can’t believe designers would say no, she’s a pretty big celebrity to say no to. She’ll do really well. I wish her the best of luck :)

maryhelenc on

Good for her for starting her own clothing line! I hope it all works out well for her.

Guest on

If she had healthy eating habits and a healthy weight she could choose from the rack. It is not hard but definitely requires work.

sal on

Love her!!! She is fabulous!

Butler Girl on

I think it is a fabulous idea for her to create something that makes her happy and feel good about helping others… But I must say something about the Comment left by Guest …Your words were If she had healthy eating habits and a healthy weight she could choose from the rack. It is not hard but definitely requires work….ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME… YES IT IS A LOT OF WORK BUT SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST SMALL OFF THE RACK KIND OF SIZES… AND IT IS EXTREMELY HARD AS A PLUS SIZE PERSON TO BE HEARING THINGS LIKE THAT… ALL OF US ARE DIFFERENT AND THAT MAKES US SPECIAL…AND REMEMBER WHAT EACH WERE TAUGHT AS A CHILD – IF YOU HAVE NOTHING NICE TO SAY – KEEP YOUR DAMN MOUTH SHUT

Johanna on


Jojo on

They all say that but they never do. Can’t find a designer who wants to tag their name to plus size clothing.

It's Me on

What happened to her? She had some kind of weight loss surgery back in her Gilmore Girls days and she lost a lot of weight. Now she seems bigger than ever. It’s great she is starting a plus-size line, but if surgery can’t even solve someone’s obesity issues I think it’s important to focus not only on outer appearance but to resolve the issues that led to weight gain.

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