Straight up, it's gonna be Paula and us forever (oh, oh, oh).
Paula Abdul is a true global icon – "Straight Up" is so iconic, it was the only choice for the big Virgin spaceship debut and the only choice for our next collab partner. Yup, the award-winning choreographer who's forever influenced the worlds of dance, music and television. She is indeed, "Forever Your Girl."
The limited-edition Smash + Tess x Paula Abdul Groove Gear collection launches on Thursday, Jan 12 at 8 AM PT and is all about celebrating our mutual love of dance, comfort, and living our best lives. 🥰
So, kick back, relax, and cue up some of Paula's greatest hits as we dive into this interview.
Why did you want to collaborate with S+T?
I’ve always had the utmost admiration for other women and that has resonated throughout my entire career. For me, it was important to extend that message because even back when I started on American Idol, I was feverishly reminding the contestants that it’s a TV show first, but it's your talent that got you here and you have to believe in yourself no matter the outcome. Otherwise, it's like a child losing faith in Santa Claus. So, I would make inspirational messaging and I wanted to combine that with Smash + Tess and what they stand for…for empowering women, giving back to communities and their whole idea of having inclusivity. I’ve always been about inclusivity.
And by the way, I must mention that people may or may not know that my mother is Canadian, so I have a fondness for Canadians. And part of their mission statement is being inclusive to all sizes, all shapes, and all ethnicities. It’s really important, it’s what I’ve stood for my whole career.
How do you feel when you put on these pieces and how do you want others to feel?
Because of the special care in the fabric and richness of the fabrication, it’s very luxe. I feel classy. Classic.
What's your favourite piece from the collection?
I love the zipper pulls with my love notes and the fabrication of the pull-over with the lightning bolt — it is so soft and unlike anything you’d normally wear. You can wear it to and from your workout or just to look super cute and cozy.
The crop top and flared jazz/yoga pants are perfect because they fit together so well but you can also mix and match. You can fold the pants down for a more low-cut look and the tee has these beautiful ¾ length sleeves. And I LOVE the Rompers - I love unitards and being able to wear a one piece.
Our pullover says, “be electrifying, create a spark out of life,” and we’re going to hopefully carry out more messaging in the future. It’s part of who I am — those who grew up with my music and watched me through American Idol know that.
This collection carries heart - those little heart winks that you can touch, see, and feel and remind yourself that everything is going to be okay. I love that everyone gets to carry that around with them. I just love the whole collection!
How do you keep yourself motivated and inspired creatively?
By constantly being a student. I stay motivated by studying the pioneers that paved the way before me. See — I didn’t grow up with the internet and YouTube — which to me is the greatest gift to any creator.
When I feel like I’m living life and contributing, it makes my heart flourish and I love it. But I do know how to relax too. A lot of people don’t know how to relax, and sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do. I climb in with my dogs on the couch and we put on some good television. Right now, I’m watching Jack Ryan and I’m loving it. Eat popcorn and hang with my friends. You know what? Just have fun. It’s all about people who you love and cherish and have a great time with. When I do have time off, the first thing I gravitate towards is catching up with my friends. I feel like they are the salt of the earth for me.
How do you hope that these pieces will inspire and empower women to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin?
When I started to become a choreographer, I said I’m going to hire talent. But it was all about the idea of what a dancer's body should look like. I broke the boundaries and stopped that tradition — if you’re talented, you’re hired. And that’s what I love about working with Smash + Tess, it’s a wonderful company we stand for all the same things — inclusivity and empowerment.
What was it like working with Ashley and S+T?
The people that work in the company are just amazing. The women are delicious to work with and I truly feel like E.T. found home.
We hope you enjoyed catching up with Paula Abdul as much as we did! It was such a treat to collaborate with the queen of dance and we still can’t believe this is real life!!!
If you’re a fan of a good dance party and a lover of comfort, better hurry up and secure your Groove Gear fast. And who knows, maybe you'll even pick up a dance move or two from the one and only Paula Abdul.