THE LAST WORD
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who didn’t grow up watching Alyssa Milano grow up, whether it was first in her role as Samantha Micelli on the longtime ABC hit Who’s the Boss? or then as Phoebe Halliwell on the equally long-running series Charmed. In addition to an exceptional TV career that dates to the mid-‘80s, Milano has also starred in several blockbuster films, chief among them Commando and Fear. Now branching out into the world of fashion, the actress launched her Touch clothing line last year, and has already signed licensing deals with all major North American sports leagues.
Now that you’re in the design business, you’re qualified to tell us which team has the best uniforms in all of sports.
Alyssa Milano: Well, as a Dodgers fan I’m sort I’ve biased, but I have to say that everything looks great in navy. The Yankees uniforms are classic, and as far as the NHL goes I like the look of the Kings.
So which team is in most need of a makeover?
AM: That’s a good question, because there are so many. I would say the entire WNBA is in need of a makeover. They’re an exciting league but their uniforms are awful.
How did you get started with the whole Touch clothing line in the first place? What inspired you to embark on that type of project?
AM: Well, basically I’ve been a huge sports fan my whole life, and as a Dodgers season ticket holder – I’m entering my fourth year – I just got tired of going into the stadium shops and not finding anything cute or fashionable that fit my body and that wasn’t pink. I figured that if I was looking for something different, then obviously there was a market for it. I contacted my agency and pitched them the idea, and they set me up with Major League Baseball and I pitched them the idea, and I went into partnership with G3 Sports. We launched the line last year, and this year, in 2008, we already have licensing agreements with the NHL, the NFL, the NBA, and the NCAA, in addition to baseball.
Nice! So the whole line is blowing up pretty big for you.
AM: Yeah, it’s great. And this year we’re adding a headwear and jewelry component to it, too, so it’s pretty exciting. I’m very proud of it, and it’s really nice that when you have an idea that pops into your head, a year later it’s tangible and you can touch it and wear it.
After all your years working as an actress, did you find it tough to take on the role of entrepreneur and manage something like this?
AM: No, I really enjoy it, actually. I think it allows me to exercise a different part of my brain that acting doesn’t stimulate.
Doing a quick scan of blogs and the like it’s pretty clear that fans are really digging your designs. How much of a direct hand do you have in determining the look of your products?
AM: I’m totally involved in the design process. Probably more so than anyone wants me to be. (laughs) I pick everything from fabrics to silhouettes to buttons – I’m very hands-on.
What are some of the new designs you have planned for 2008?
AM: The 2008 year for Touch is really cool. We have a lot of great vests and hoodies and two-piece sets, so it’ll continue to be more fashion-forward than what’s already out there on the market, with quality fabrics and flattering silhouettes.
In your educated opinion, which professional sports league has the best types of women’s merchandise?
AM: Oh, you know, I think that in the past, it’s all been the same… crap. (laughs) You know what I mean? What they tried to do with female fan apparel was make little boy sizes and make it pink, and to me, that was the man’s answer to female fan apparel – Touch is the female answer to female fan apparel.
You were one of the hosts at this year’s NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta. Did you enjoy the experience?
AM: I had the best time ever. It was so great; I brought my brother, who has been playing hockey since he was 3 years old, and my dad, who’s a huge hockey fan, and my mom, and we just had an awesome family trip. I got to see Luc Robitaille, who I probably hadn’t seen in like 20 years, so that was a lot of fun.
Was one of the highlights for you meeting the Jonas Brothers? You can admit that it was.
AM: (laughs) Okay, I’ll admit it.
We actually read that you had owned a classic yellow-and-purple Luc Robitaille jersey. Is that true?
AM: That is correct! I actually had Kings season tickets before Gretzky came to L.A.
You mentioned you’re a Dodgers fan. What are your thoughts on Montreal’s own Russell Martin?
AM: I think Russell Martin is the most exciting player in baseball. I think he’s just so amazing to watch, and he was basically the backbone of that team last year. I hope the Dodgers sign him to a long-term contract quickly, because I just can’t wait to see what happens with him.
You’re a big fan of sports in general, but is it fair to say that baseball is your first love?
AM: I would say baseball and hockey, just because I have really fond memories of going to watch my brother play hockey at these tiny rinks when I was younger. And hockey was the first sport I bought season tickets for. I’m probably not quite as obsessed with hockey as I am baseball, but hockey’s definitely a close second.
Who’s your favorite player in the game today?
AM: Sidney Crosby, of course.
For our money one of the most underrated movies of the ‘90s was Fear. What was it like working with Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon in a film that featured one of their first lead performances?
AM: It was a great experience. We filmed Fear in Vancouver for three months and we had a great time. They were both incredibly professional and fun to work with.
You have a new movie coming out called Wisegal, correct?
AM: Yep. We shot it for Lifetime and they’ll be airing it later this year.
So which of your past costars was more insane: Wisegal’s James Caan or Charmed’s Shannen Doherty?
AM: (laughs) I wouldn’t say either one is really insane.
We read that you had seven tattoos. Is that still the number?
AM: I think it’s eight, now.
Eight, all right. Clear this up for us, then: if a woman could get only one tattoo, what should she get, and where should she get it?
AM: Oh, that’s just such a personal decision, I couldn’t even comment on it. It has to mean something to you, and years down the line, you need to be comfortable enough to look at it and be sure it’ll still have meaning for you.
Seeing all these photos of you at recent events, we were wondering how it is that you still look as good today as you did when you were starring on Who’s the Boss?
AM: I bathe in formaldehyde. (laughs) No, I don’t know. It’s just good genes. I don’t do anything special for my skin and I can still move my forehead, which is quite the accomplishment being an actress in this town. There’s no way I plan on shooting botulism into my face.
When you were starring alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando back in 1985, did you ever think your acting career would last longer than his?
AM: No, and I never thought he’d become the governor of California, either.
Learn more about the Touch clothing line and everything Alyssa at www.alyssa.com, or get a sneak preview of Wisegal at www.mylifetime.com/on-tv/movies/wisegal.
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This article, written by J.S Trzcienski, was published in CANADIENS magazine Vol. 22 No. 5. See table of contents