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Fashion Star Returns —We Talk with New Host Louise Roe

It’s the week of fashion TV. This Friday—after Thursday’s premiere of L.A. Frock Stars—NBC’s Fashion Star comes back, this time with new host Louise Roe joining celebrity mentors Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos, and with Express coming on as one of the companies contestants will vie to have buy their designs, alongside Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Each episode concludes with buyers bidding on the competitors’ clothing, while viewers will be able to purchase the winning designs from that week on the spot. Prepare for impulse purchases.

Of this season’s 13 designers competing, four hail from our hometown. The Los Angeles-based designers include David Appel of sportswear line Cohesive, Brandon Scott of ScottxScott, Bret Young of Heirloom and GLAUDI’S Johana Hernandez, who grew up in L.A.’s garment district while her parents worked in the sweatshops.

We chatted with host Louise Roe about what to look forward to this season and her take on the fashion world.

LA Mag: How did you get your start in the fashion industry?
LR: I did a ton of work experience at magazines, one after the other during
my high school and college holidays. Then when I graduated, I had enough
contacts and experience to book an internship at Elle in London. After
that I climbed up the food chain and eventually parlayed into TV when I
was at Vogue.com. Now I do a mix of hosting and writing, which is fun!

LA Mag: You help wallflowers make themselves over on Plain Jane, and on Fashion Star, you help designers get really established.  How did you come to be so passionate about helping people launch themselves?
LR:I just get a real kick out of seeing people fulfil their potential and start to believe in themselves. To be part of that journey in any way is incredibly rewarding.

LA Mag: What advice would you give budding designers trying to launch their own line?
LR: Keep your eye on the prize, listen to as much advice as you can but only from the right, experienced people. Sometimes too much information can dilute your brand and focus. And be prepared for set-backs. The route to success is a wiggly line, not a straight one.

LA Mag: What do you like about fashion in L.A.? About designers based in L.A.?
LR: The bright colors! The weather means spring's sorbet palette, and flirty shapes looks fab. There is so much incredible talent based here, a lot relatively undiscovered- and some huge names that not everyone realizes are even from here—Rodarte for example!

LA Mag: What should we look forward to on the new season of Fashion Star?
LR: Incredible clothes to buy, right there and then; emotions running high—tears, tantrums, laughter and very intense bidding wars between the buyers.

LA Mag: What makes Fashion Star stand out from other fashion competition shows?
LR: The fact that the designers' clothes are bought in front of the nation and immediately available to them. It's awesome.

LA Mag: What do Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos each bring to the table as mentors?
LR: Their own unique take on each designer's aesthetic, their incredibly eclectic but successful wealth of experience, unparalleled advice, a lot of fun, and their own outfits inspired me as well!

Fashion Star’s second season premieres tonight, March 8, at 8 p.m.