Alyssa Milano's face is immediately recognizable to millions of baseball fans, from her prominent roles in such TV series as "Melrose Place" and "Charmed" to her presence as a longtime Dodgers season-ticket holder. Now her new line of women's MLB apparel is about to become very recognizable as well.
Out of what she called "necessity," Milano teamed with G-III and MLB to create her own signature "touch" line of team-logo fashion for the female fan. The clothing has just arrived at the MLB.com Shop, and not a moment too soon for the countless women who have been asking her about it already this season. The actress, model, designer, humanitarian and baseball lover talked about her new venture in this Q&A.
MLB.com: Did your mom inspire you to get involved in the business?
Alyssa: My mom (Lin Milano) was an amazing women's apparel designer and actually my grandmother was a hat designer. That makes me the third generation of designers in my family. My mom's and grandmother's success definitely gave me the courage to go ahead with the idea for "touch."
MLB.com: What types of fabrics and patterns are you using for the clothing line?
Alyssa: The fabrics and patterns were very important to me. I wanted to use sporty fabrics that are wearable and feel good -- hence the name "touch" -- but also use feminine fabrics as a contradiction. I used a lot of satin to make the sporty looks a little bit more feminine. The silhouettes were equally as important because I wanted women to feel good in the pieces. As a woman, I find it's more important that I feel good in what I wear than the actual styles. So I went through great lengths to make sure all the styles were flattering and catered to a woman's body shape. For instance, my tank tops all have shelf bras attached because I always had a hard time figuring out what to wear under the fan apparel tanks that were available to us. My hoodies have double zippers so we won't have any bulges while sitting in the stands rooting for our teams.
MLB.com: Do the prices increase from the regular women's wear?
Alyssa: I think you'll find the price points to be incredibly reasonable for what you're getting.
MLB.com: How did you alter the designs to be more fashionable and desired?
Alyssa: I really took into consideration the trends that are already in the fashion marketplace. I wanted to create a line that women could wear anywhere and not just to a game. I wanted to bridge the game with the after-party and do for baseball what the hip-hop world did for the NBA.
MLB.com: You said on your website that this was "born out of necessity." Could you elaborate on that, discuss what you would typically wear to a Dodgers game in the past, and if there was a "eureka" moment that you recall?
Alyssa: I have had Dodgers season tickets for four years. Every game I attended, I would rush into the team shop and look to see if there was anything new and cute to buy. I would look for something that would fit my body and that wasn't pink! I was always disappointed that I couldn't find anything. My "eureka" moment came when my friend Chelsea made her own T-shirt. She made a tee that said, "I love Rookies," and she got so many compliments on it. I hope to produce a tee similar to this in the future. That's when the seed was planted and it grew from there. I pitched the idea to my agent, he got me a meeting with MLB, MLB introduced me to G-III, and the rest is history.
MLB.com: What feedback have you received so far from other female baseball fans? And by the way, what do you think guys will think of this, and do men need more style as well?
Alyssa: The best part of this experience has been the feedback from the female fans. They finally feel that there is someone speaking on their behalf in a male-dominated industry. It's really rewarding to see how excited they are about the styles and just the concept in general. As far as the guys go, I have a 24-year-old brother who is also a huge baseball fan. He just said to me the other day, when we were getting ready to go watch the Freeway Series, "Lyss, please do a men's line." I would love to do a men's line incorporating the Cooperstown logos and give it a real vintage feel.
MLB.com: Is there one piece in this new line that's your favorite?
Alyssa: I love all the pieces, and my favorite design changes daily. I really love the jeans. I love the satin jacket. The two-in-one baby doll tee. All of it is stuff I would wear and look forward to wearing.
MLB.com: How did you come to be such a huge baseball fan, how many Dodgers games would you guess you'll go to in 2007, and how do you feel about every preseason publication picking the Dodgers and Angels to win their divisions, and Sports Illustrated picking the Angels over Dodgers in the World Series? Seems like people think it's L.A.'s year.
Alyssa: [General manager Ned] Colletti, if you're reading this -- we need a power bat! I am a huge baseball fan because I grew up [in New York] watching it on my dad's lap. Baseball is my escape. The sights, the sounds, the way the park smells. There is truly no place I would rather be than at a game. I couldn't even count how many games I went to last year. Baseball represents family. It represents my childhood. As far as it being L.A.'s year, I'm not getting my hopes up. The beautiful thing about baseball is that anything can happen. It's like life in that way. As soon as you think you have it all figured out, something happens that makes you realize -- you know nothing. The only thing that's guaranteed is that it will be an exciting ride.
MLB.com: Where can all your fans find Alyssa Milano this year and what's she up to these days besides helping women with their ballpark look?
Alyssa: I just finished a pilot for Warner Brothers and ABC called "Reinventing The Wheelers." My fingers are crossed that it will be picked up. It's a really special show. I am also beginning production in May on a film for Lakeshore Productions and MGM called "Pathology," starring Milo Ventimiglia. I will be traveling a lot this year as well with UNICEF and The Global Network For Neglected Tropical Diseases for my Ambassadorships. But really, you're most likely to find me at Dodger Stadium rooting for my boys in blue. Go BLUE!