The first rule of journalism may be "don't make friends with the rock stars," but Gabrielle Union makes it damn hard to stay objective. She's funny. She's forthcoming. She's warm. And by the end of our interview, I'm torn between begging to be her friend and asking if I can borrow her kimono.
Luckily, said kimono is available at New York & Company for $130. She designed it, along with 35 other pieces created for modern, working women, and they're all available online and in stores. (Our pick: this $90 blazing pink blazer that fits right in with Tom Ford's latest catwalk hit.)
As for the friends thing... well... let's take it one step at a time, and get through the interview first.
There's a mob of fans outside waiting to see you. You're like the Harry Styles of the Upper East Side.
Except I'm more of a Zayn girl. That's on the record. There's only one direction and it's Zayn's direction. Sorry, Gigi!
This collection has lots of workwear. But your career isn't in an office. How did you decide what styles should be included?
Luckily, the character I play the most is Mary Jane Paul, and she's known for her wardrobe. In six seasons, I've learned the ins and outs on material, cut, shape, and what's most flattering for a long-ass work day. And that's the thinner scuba material that functions as a kinder version of Spanx. It's a light Spanx-ish kind of material.
I usually make someone buy me dinner before I let him lightly Spank-ish me.
You're my kind of girl. But yeah, anything that sucks you in and holds you up for hours and hours? That's what I want in a work dress, or a party dress, or an outfit that needs to take me to both. So that's what we tried to do here, and honestly, that's what Mary Jane would try to do, too.
Is it too much if Mary Jane wears mary janes, or is that cool?
No, she can't wear Mary Janes. It's just too much. It's also too much if Mary Jane smokes mary jane, and a lot of people tuned in because they thought it was Weeds Part Deux. It's not. It's not a show about pot, sorry.
It's better! It's a show about a TV host. And she wants Barack and Michelle as guests. So, is that happening?
You have to tune in next week to find out if MO and BO actually show up. That's the goal. It's a whole plot point next week, so you'll see.
There's also a character similar to Tomi Lahren, who tweeted about it. Would you ever invite her to be a guest?
Mary Jane would love to have Tomi Lahren on the show! But they hired a fake version of her named Dani. And I don't know which one is worse, Tomi or Dani. Although Dani shows some growth and compassion, whereas so far with Tomi Lahren, there's been no evolution. So far. Maybe that's what she's waiting to do on Fox News. Perhaps she'll come out and admit, all of a sudden, that she's a Bernie Bro. We just don't know. But also, the real Tomi is so young. There's time for her to grow.
It's clear Mary Jane influenced this collection a lot. What about your husband, Dwyane Wade? Is he in here, too?
The ming blue, the yellow, the kimono—we spend two weeks every year in Asia, and you see bits of our travels in the collection for sure.
You've said he has his own shoe vault.
True. The Vault is real.
What's your advice for women with partners who are way more into style? Because you're a fashion maven, but how can you compete with a shoe museum?
I'm a fashion maven, but he's like a fashion warlock. So if that's your relationship, you draw inspiration from your partner. There's times, and by times I mean two days ago, where I go into his closet and I wear his stuff. I took a denim robe [Visvim] and I did multiple Snapchat stories in it. He was like, "Are you wearing my clothes?" Yes, D. Yes, I am.
New York & Co is a classic mall store. What is your favorite mall food?
Oh, Auntie Annie's! It's at the gate when I get off in the Delta terminal in Miami. I try to find it and I can't. They have cinnamon and sugar pretzels. You didn't know that, did you? Yeah. They also have nacho dipping sauce. I fall prey to it every time.
You were in Bring It On, She's All That, and 10 Things I Hate About You. Which was the best experience for you?
10 Things because it was my first movie that I ever did! And it was a lot of people's first movies, and a lot of people's first big thing. We were all paid the same on that movie, and we all shared trailers. I had a double banger with Julia [Stiles] or Susan May Pratt, I can't remember which. And we all ate together; we spent every day together. I thought all movies were like that—where everyone's friends, you all get paid the same, and you all go home after ten or twelve hours. No.
You've admitted that you're hyper-competitive at the gym. Is that healthy, or can it go too far?
I think I've got it under control, because I'm competing with everyone, but it's okay because they're not aware. I can't shut that impulse off. And I'm glad, because that impulse keeps me on the treadmill. If I didn't have it, I would be like, "Great! Ten minutes! I'm good." But if I'm competing, I can see what level someone's on and I can top it.
If I'm on the treadmill next to you, you're looking at my dashboard?
I'm looking at your levels. I'm looking at your heart rate. If you're holding onto the rails I want to see. I'm looking at your outfit, and your form. And it makes me feel like I'm having my own Olympics, where I'm always the USA and the other person, they're usually Russia. The goal in my head is for everyone to root for me. I like to think I'm the Mary Lou Retton of Equinox, going for gold and winning.