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Photo Courtesy of USA Today

Seventies Charlie's Angels Star On Shifting The "Sex Icon" Perception

People

It's hard to believe that over thirty years have passed since model and actress Jaclyn Smith became a businesswoman, starting her own women's apparel clothing line. While many celebrities would be content to enjoy the fame after working on a successful television series, this “Charlie's Angel" wanted to challenge herself creatively.


Rather than endorse another company, Smith pioneered the concept of celebrities developing their own brands. “At that time, no one had done it, and it felt daunting and daring," Smith exclusively told SWAAY during an event for the introduction of the 'Jaclyn Smith Ready to Wear' clothing collection at Sears. “People said, 'no, you don't need to design clothes for Kmart. But I thought it would be interesting to give back to all the people who kept me on television."

Smith was the only actress from the cast that remained on the hit series for all five seasons.

“It seemed to be a tried and true concept, people young and old loved it…we reached many age groups. Even to this day; to be on a show that we are still talking about 40 years later is incredible,"

If you've never watched an episode, Smith played one of the private investigators for Townsend Associates, a detective agency run by a reclusive multi-millionaire whom the ladies never meet. Voiced by actor John Forsythe, the Charles Townsend character present new cases and gave advice via a speakerphone to his three female employees, to whom he referred as "Angels."

Smith described the experience of starring on “Charlie's Angels" as fun and exciting. “We became rockstars overnight," she remarks. "We didn't stand in line at the movies or Disneyland. Life changed immediately. There wasn't a lot of time to venture in another direction, because we worked 18 hours a day."

Rather than endorse another company, Smith pioneered the concept of celebrities developing their own brands. Photo Courtesy of AP

“I learned so much," she adds. "It was acting school and improv all rolled into one. We worked with many big stars at that time, that wanted to do our show because we were in the top 10."

While Smith and her costars—Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack, Tanya Roberts—were popular due to the show, there was also a strong sense of pressure, to get good ratings and look good.

Still, no matter how big the series got, Smith had a sense of perspective.

“Any time judgment is involved in looking or being a certain way, you have to come from a deeper place, as it is all temporary and superficial," noted Smith. “I was brought up by a family that was very down to earth, I didn't put as much stock into that as I did work and how I was going to lead my life. I took it day by day. I am sort of a person who stays in the moment.

While Smith and her costars—Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack, Tanya Roberts—were popular due to the show, there was also a strong sense of pressure, to get good ratings and look good. Photo Courtesy of ABC News

The show became successful in worldwide syndication, which inspired a plethora of ancillary products, including bubble gum cards, glamorous, fashion dolls, a variety of posters, puzzles, and school supplies, toy vans, and a board game, all featuring Smith's likeness. The "Angels" also appeared on magazine covers on TV Guide and Time magazine. Nevertheless, by the fifth season, Smith was ready to move on.

“When you are a celebrity, people expect certain things; they have watched and supported you. They don't want to see you change either. But change is the most constant part of life."

The show became successful in worldwide syndication, which inspired a plethora of ancillary products. Photo Courtesy of CineBlog

Smith modeled for Wella Balsam Shampoo and created a fragrance for Max Factor, “getting a taste" for what it took to launch a new product line. “To put my name on a product was a whole new world. Kmart was a whole education in the mass market," she said.

At the time, there wasn't enough variety for women's fashion at the store. “So when I took a meeting with Kmart and went over the possibilities, I thought 'wow, this would be different.' I knew this was something I was going to love." These days, Smith feels pressure to make her new elegant, affordable line as attractive to Sears customers as possible. “I want them to go in there and try it on, and enjoy that shopping experience."

More than 100 million women have purchased clothing or accessories bearing the Smith's name. Awareness of her brand for women 35-60 years old is above 80 percent. “From sleek silhouettes to bold prints, my Ready to Wear pieces are designed for every woman looking to express her personalized style," said Smith. “At the end of the day, it's really about being true to yourself." Smith feels her collaboration with Sears is a good fit.

“Like me, Sears understands who its members are and genuinely cares about what they want – to look their best, whether at work or enjoying a night out, with statement-making looks, great details, quality, comfort and style for women of all sizes."

In June, the very first “Charlie's Angels" comic book will premiere, which will be based on the action series. While the franchise was already turned into two successful movies with Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu in 2000 and 2003, and a TV reboot on ABC in 2011 that lasted just four episodes, a new “Charlie's Angels" is in the works, with actress Kristen Stewart starring and Elizabeth Banks directing.

The Charlie's Angels reboot, which has not yet begun filming, is slated to hit theaters June 7, 2019

3 Min Read
Career

Black LGBTQ Woman Powerhouse Launches Vegan Cosmetics Line

I am a proud Black business owner carrying a line of lip colors for the woman who wants to shine. At Vatarie Cosmetics you can find cruelty-free and vegan lip care products, including clear lip gloss and liquid matte lipsticks. The line is still under development, so there are more products in the making that you'll hear more about soon!

My products are high-quality and it is my dream to take my brand into high-end storefronts across the nation and even across the globe.

About Leticia

I have worked my way into my entrepreneurial career as I did not come from money. The goal of my cosmetic line is to bring excitement to everyone who tries the line. My products are high-quality and it is my dream to take my brand into high-end storefronts across the nation and even across the globe. I believe that with added makeup and a good set of threads, anybody can confidently face the world. I am a proud and firm supporter of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and a proud member and supporter of the LGBTQIA community.

There have been plenty of hardships that I have had to face throughout my entire life, the most recent being the recent death of my father who passed far too soon. I have never allowed these hardships to deter me, and won't start now. I will continue to progress and work hard to build my business, knowing that this is what my father would have wanted.

About the Vatarie Line: What It's All About

Upon launching the line, I had the mission of inspiring every human to find their inner beauty and to have fun along the way. With this in mind, my products are designed for people of all genders, races, religions, and creeds. The Vatarie line will have more to offer customers very soon as I am continually working on developing products and expanding the line. In addition to the lip colors currently offered, the line will soon include highlighters, eyeshadows, and new lip gloss additions.

I believe that no one needs makeup to validate themselves, and we are all beautiful on our own. I do believe, though, that makeup can make life a lot more fun. Now more than ever we are living in a world where there is so much sadness and darkness. Sometimes all we need to change our moods and get away from that darkness is something to help us feel better and more vibrant — this is where a pop of makeup and a well put together outfit can really make an impact.

Now more than ever we are living in a world where there is so much sadness and darkness.

I encourage everybody to embrace their inner beauty and inner style, and express themselves no matter what. My line of products is inspired by high fashion and designed to make a bold statement. The running theme across my products is empowerment at every stage and level. I create products that make my customers feel happy, and I ensure I am happy myself with my products before I release every single one. There is no place for cutting corners as I believe in producing the highest quality product.

I bring my sense of humor and quirky personality into my products and you can see this in the names of each item. Take the lip color "Blood Money," which signifies all the money, tears, sweat, and yes, blood that was put into the brand. Let me tell you, it was hard work, and it still is hard work, but at the end of the day, it fulfills me to know the type of quality I am providing. It gives me great pride to create a line of legendary products that will positively affect someone and bring them to a place of self-love and acceptance.

About the Past that Gives My Business Meaning

I have struggled over the years with mental abuse that has left me feeling as if "I wasn't enough." Added to that, being a Black woman in an industry that is predominantly dominated by other races, I had to work harder to get to where I am today.

Coming from a broken home, my family struggled with addiction, making my entire childhood a miserable nightmare. My mother abandoned us as she was being physically abused, and it was up to us the kids to do everything necessary to take care of the home and each other. We eventually ended up living with my grandmother in Miami, Florida. At a very young age, I had to endure physical and mental abuse and was locked up. At the age of 22, I lost my younger sister to gun violence and found myself raising her one-year-old son as my own.

Being a Black woman in an industry that is predominantly dominated by other races, I had to work harder to get to where I am today.

While my past was a rough one, it is what has made me the strong, independent, and vibrant woman I am today. That woman strives to be her best every day and works tirelessly to provide a line of only the best cosmetics products. I couldn't see this while I was living through those bad situations and struggling to grow up, but I can look back and see how I was made more resilient because of my hardships.

As I grieve over my father's recent passing, I become stronger. It is this added personal strength that will push me forward in everything I do and will be reflected in my work ethic and in the development of new products for my Vatarie line of cosmetics.