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Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 09/30/2008

Celebrity Designer: Alyssa Milano, Jersey Gal

By Liz Kelly

Is there anything the lovely and talented Alyssa Milano can't do?

The latest entrant in the field of celebrity designers has proven herself a dab hand at making money and keeping herself relevant. If not for the flurry of activity surrounding the expansion line of women's sports clothing, this dynamo might've been just what Henry Paulsen ordered to turn the failing economy around.


Milano models one of her Touch designs. (Getty Images)

Milano burst upon the scene as spunky Samantha Micelli on '80s sitcom fave "Who's the Boss." Then, just to keep us guessing, she reinvented herself in critically acclaimed cable releases like "Casualties of Love: the Long Island Lolita Story" and "Confessions of a Sorority GIrl" before moving on to ground-breaking projects like "Poison Ivy II."

But before surrendering fully to late night cable, Milano engineered her own renaissance by landing regular gigs on "Melrose Place," "Spin City," "Charmed" and lately, "My Name Is Earl." An avid sports fan, Milano also reported on TBS during the 2007 World Series and blogs about baseball for MLB.com.

And Milano has another outlet for her love of sports: Her line of Women's sports apparel, Touch. Here's her MLB range, though her empire stretches across sporting lines into NFL, NBA and NHL apparel as well. Clever girl that she is, Milano realized we members of the gentler sex would rather be wearing this St. Louis Cardinas spaghetti strap sundress than a lumpy man-sized sweatshirt. And, Jessica Simpson, you might do well to trade in that much maligned pink Tony Romo jersey for this goth-inspired black glass Cowboys logo pendant.

"I wanted to create a line that women could wear anywhere and not just to a game," said Milano. "I wanted to bridge the game with the after-party and do for baseball what the hip-hop world did for the NBA."

Thanks, Alyssa Milano, for understanding the distaff fan base. Now if only we could get Tim Gunn to work on redesigning the men's offerings.

By Liz Kelly  | September 30, 2008; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrity Products  
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Comments

Overall I thought her clothes were uninspiring. They are already making pink jerseys and girly tops with sports logos. The sundress,however, was a new one. Can you imagine going to the game in a sundress and heels? Unless you happen to be a celebrity, you would be laughed right out of the ballpark. Let's get serious, Alyssa!

Posted by: hodie | September 30, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I work in the MLB business and while I admit she knows her baseball stuff, Alyssa is known as a baseball Annie around the league--especially the National League.
Her designs are, frankly, H&M with a baseball logo, not a whole lot of creativity there. But big props for taking an idea and running with it. Not much difference between this and celebrity parents writing children's books.

Posted by: methinks | September 30, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Her clothes may be so so, but she is still smoking hot! Wow, she still looks great.

Posted by: dw | September 30, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I remember her as Amy Fisher -- not bad, but Drew Barrymore was better.

She designs clothes? Whatever. Good for her. Sounds like she's found a market niche and is going for it. Her acting can only take her so far, after all.

And now -- since you mentioned "Who's the Boss" -- I have to start humming, "hold me closer, Tony Danza."

Posted by: td, with apologies to lisa kudrow's clasisc line as phoebe | September 30, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I've started seeing her commercials for this line! They crack me up! Alyssa in sultry poses wearing half zipped sweaters with teeny tiny sports team logos. I do see the appeal of women's sports wear but I think she's down-playing the sports aspect too much.

Posted by: sjcpeach | September 30, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

If I were to mix some of her line with Tara Reid's will that blow the whole colour coding or what?

Posted by: petal, would like some celebritology clothing | September 30, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Although I will give her points for not doing the "oh it's for girls, it must be pink" which I HATE, I still am less than thrilled with this. I'm an NFL fan. I want NFL gear. Not, oh, look pretty while being a fan gear. Just not Reebok for human rights reasons.

Posted by: ep | September 30, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

ep
I'm an NFL fan. I want NFL gear. Not, oh, look pretty while being a fan gear.

Agree totally. Ditto for college gear.

Posted by: Nosy Parker | September 30, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Well said. I'm a girl. I'm a HUGE baseball fan. I wouldn't be caught dead in a pink hat or jersey. I prefer my batting practice and home field jerseys. They're more comfortable and it doesn't look like I'm at the game because my boyfriend brought me.
If I do want to go more girly, the mlb.com stores have women's versions of the regular tshirts - same logo and designs, but more tailored/fitted. I can do without the sequins.

But I do applaud Alyssa's baseball knowledge. If I ever have a daughter, she will know all about ground-rule doubles and the infield fly rule, about Robinson, Clemente, Berra and Jeter. I'm already practicing on my niece.

Posted by: Em agrees with ep | September 30, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Overall I thought her clothes were uninspiring. They are already making pink jerseys and girly tops with sports logos. The sundress,however, was a new one. Can you imagine going to the game in a sundress and heels? Unless you happen to be a celebrity, you would be laughed right out of the ballpark. Let's get serious, Alyssa!

Posted by: hodie | September 30, 2008 10:47 AM

As someone who's been to Cardinal games, this is pretty tame considering some of the things I've seen women wear. Its still not as bad as jorts (men's jean shorts). Those things should be banned.

Posted by: jake e. poo | September 30, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Agreed on jorts. In fact any hybrid piece of apparell ending in "orts" should be banned. Specifically skorts, which, if they still exist, is a combination of skirt and shorts. Although I'm sure it has practical appeal for some females.

Posted by: Red Dragon | September 30, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

ep - totally with you. I believe that any woman who wears any pink jersey/hat is not a true fan. Of course, my fiancee was hysterical when I got my "I *heart* Chris Cooley" shirt - it was pink. It looked like pink on the website. But it's the only color it comes it and it's a t-shirt, so I figure it is okay! :)

Posted by: Betty | September 30, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

correction - it looked "light" pink on the website.

Posted by: Betty | September 30, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I think if you're a true fan, you wear clothes where someone doesn't have to be within 3 feet to know what team you're for. What's with the teeny tiny logos? And ditto to everyone else, hate the pink jerseys. (Betty, we'll make an exception for your tee).

Posted by: hodie | September 30, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

RIVETING stuff.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Pink jerseys are okay on Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Otherwise, they're outta heah!

Posted by: methinks | September 30, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Alyssa,

Do us all a favor and get out of the fashion biz ASAP.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | September 30, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, the free market economy may well take care of that.

Posted by: Nosy Parker | September 30, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

As someone that isn't a hardcore sports fan but supports teams because my husband loves sports, I thought some of the items weren't that bad. Since the Redskins play every week in the fall it would be nice to have several different things to wear so that I'm not wearing my Chris Cooley jersey every week.

Is it wrong to want to support the team but not look like one of the players?

Posted by: jshipp | September 30, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I kinda like some of the stuff she designed. Some of it is blech and I wouldn't buy a pair of $50 jeans with my team logo on the back but, overall, I like what she's doing. Now, don't get me wrong, I wear my Braves jersey to Braves games and my UGA jersey anytime I'm watching football but I also like cute tops and comfy clothes with my team logo that aren't "lumpy man-sized." And while I can always order them from MLB.com and college stores, it's nice to have another outlet.

And for all of you that say pink doesn't belong in sports - I agree! Unless my team changes its colors to pink and white (god forbid), pink has no place in my sports attire.

Posted by: melinda | September 30, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Cute for tailgating apparel.

Posted by: rachelt | September 30, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Skankie Trailer Trash meets Auntie Mame stuff!

Posted by: No thanks | September 30, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of lumpy sweatshirts, I sure do miss Marge Schott.

Posted by: possum | September 30, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

These clothes are intended for women who want to support their team and share in their man's interests without looking silly in a huge team jersey. These clothes are not aimed at hardcore fans who paint their faces or wear cheese hats.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

jshipp, good point. I will reconsider my opinion but not my preference.

ditto on Marge Shott, possum. What was the dog's name?

Posted by: hodie | September 30, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

They are not just for women "supporting their man". My husband is a self admitted tech geek, (but still every bit a man) and has no interest in sports outside what our kids participate in. I am the sports fan and I do appreciate this kind of clothing line. You can wear t-shirts and jerseys only so often.

Posted by: maxine | September 30, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I can assure you that I do not look "silly" in my Darrell Green jersey - nor do I wear it to share in "my man's interests" - same with my Mom and my sister. :)

Posted by: Betty | September 30, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The dog's name was Schatzie, which means "Sweetheart" in German. Marge Schott might have spelled it "Schottzie"

Posted by: methinks | September 30, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"Share in their man's interests"?????? Holy 1950's Batman! That's right, 'cause there can't be women sports fans out there who aren't being cajoled into watching and supporting a team by their man. pffft.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure you women are true sports fans, but the majority of women watch sports because it's the only way to spend time with their husbands/boyfriends who are glued to the TV all day Saturday and Sunday.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

So anon@4:08 you've done a survey and determined that the majority of women only like sports because of some stupid man?

Posted by: Former Sports Fan | September 30, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

er, anon at 4:08, I don't think that holds true anymore. I'd say a minority of women maybe. Remember, title nine has been around for a long time now, so more women were/are athletes themselves and more likely to find sport compelling viewing. Most all of the women I know, both single and not, are rabid fans of at least one sport or team. I know my summer was pretty fab, with two incredible tennis majors, the tour de france, two incredible golf majors and the fabulous Ryder cup and last weekend's barnburner Tour Championship--it was as if every week brought another big sporting event. And now we're ready for some FOOTBALL! Yeah, baby!

Posted by: hermespal | September 30, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and the Olympics too. I don't know how I got any work done at all, come to think of it.

Posted by: hermespal | September 30, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh I dunno, I let him watch sports while I go out and play them. Exceptions made for soccer of course, that he is forced to watch if he wants to spend time with me!

Only time I ever wore "team apparel" was when Italy won the World Cup...

Posted by: LTL unlurks | September 30, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

LTL, you make a good point. It doesn't escape women that a lot of athletes are BABES too...
(happily recalling the links to soccer players)...

Posted by: hermespal | September 30, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I always thought it was spelled Schottzie! They used to dress it
up at xmas for commercials.
And then there were others after the original died, named Schatzie #2 etc.
We saw Marge buying cigs or a six pack at King Kwik one night. Got in her huge honker car, and drove down the middle of a four-lane road. Those were the days!

Posted by: possum | September 30, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

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