There's only one Martha Stewart. It's readily apparent when you visit her glass-enclosed offices at New York's Starrett-Lehigh Building in Chelsea and see her smiling visage on every wall. While I await our interview, one of her immaculately dressed employees brings over a tray of bottled water and offers me an iced tea. Outside of the conference room, others hurriedly prepare hors d'oeuvres for a party to celebrate the launch of her new collaboration with QVC, which will feature food, skincare, garden, and fashion for the first time ever. When the lady of the hour arrives, wearing a navy blouse and jeans from her collection, she's holding a handful of line sheets, ready to discuss her designs, Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party, and the future of her growing empire.
InStyle: Congratulations on the new line with QVC.
Martha Stewart: It's fun, right? With everything that's happening with Facebook Live and the Snoop show, the collection will actually reach many more people. The exposure is fantastic for me. It will be a more lifestyle show than a hard-sell display of goods.
IS: And you're finally doing fashion! What was the inspiration behind the clothes?
MS: I've always worn very casual, well-made, nice-looking, affordable, comfortable shirts and pants that are work-related. There are jeans, tops—all of them are nicely made and launder well. I think that's what women should be wearing around the house. It's the new house dress. Instead of mother's house dress, it's Martha's clothes! We're already working on the spring collection. I'm looking at fabrics like cotton and poplin and a lot of colors. I'm a big color person.
IS: What do you typically wear when you're cooking?
MS: I never wear an apron. I don't like them. I prefer shirts I can rub my hands on and wash afterward.
IS: Which product categories do you hope to add in the future?
MS: Well, we'll be doing more skincare with Mario Badescu. They're my favorite affordable skincare line—I've been using it for 50 years. I've known Mr. Badescu, the founder, since I was in college. My mother went there, my daughter went there, so we decided to divide the collection by decades: teens, twenties, thirties. I'd like to do accessories eventually. I've designed a lot of jewelry.
MS: He's a cool guy. I had no idea how old he was—I found out he's younger than my daughter. He looks and acts much older. He's been around a long time. He's very knowledgeable in music—name a piece and he can hum it. It's quite extraordinary. He's a real musician, and I envy that, because I'm not one.
IS: At one point, your food photography caused quite a stir online. Did you expect it to receive such a big reaction?
MS: Listen, I've worked with the greatest photographers in the world. I think I posted one picture of an onion soup that I made on Twitter suddenly I was the worst photographer on earth. It was ridiculous! Rue the day that I posted that picture. I'm a good photographer. I take most of the pictures on my blog. They're beautiful pictures.
IS: What's your favorite thing to cook?
MS: I like to bake. I'm big into pastries and pies. I like them a lot.
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IS: There are so many aspiring lifestyle gurus these days. Who is catching your attention?
MS: Erin French, the young woman who started The Lost Kitchen. She's interesting to me because she is a good cook and she has a very nice personal style. She knows her plants, too. She's authentic.
This interview has been edited and condensed.