Television presenter Louise Roe is the British sensation making waves across the pond. We caught up with the fashionista to talk style and La-La Land weirdness
She might not be a household name just yet, but Louise Roe is in fact one of our most successful showbiz exports. She’s carved out a career for herself Stateside as a TV presenter, go-to fashion expert and celebrity stylist.
Surrey-born Louise knew it was a huge gamble when, four years ago as a little-known fashion writer, she boarded a plane to LA to change her luck. Thankfully, the gamble paid off. Louise, 30, simply “clicked”, and she’s now a regular roving red-carpet reporter for E! Entertainment, covered the Royal Wedding for the channel and she even bagged the coveted job of co-hosting ABC’s live pre-Oscars show in February.
There’s also her MTV makeover show Plain Jane and the glam set of pals she hangs out with in the Hollywood Hills, including ex-Desperate Housewives actor Jesse Metcalfe, 33, and actress Brittany Snow, 26. And if all that wasn’t enough, following in the footsteps of Cheryl Cole, 29, she’s designed her own shoe collection for Stylistpick.com and is totally loved up with boyfriend of two years, uber-hot Abercrombie & Fitch model, Josh Slack, 24.
Jealous, much? Then we’d best not get started on the never-ending legs and polished boho style (think Alexa Chung meets Nicole Richie), not to mention the brains behind the beauty – LoRo, as she’s nicknamed, has a first-class honours degree in English Literature from Durham University. Phew!
“I’m so grateful that I literally get to do my dream job,” she says, without the slightest hint of an American twang. “But while LA’s great, I always look forward to coming home for a decent cuppa and beans on toast.”
Despite being based in La-La Land, Louise remains resolutely down to earth “I’m a bit of a nerd really,” she admits. “I always read as much as I can about the people I’m going to interview. I prepare questions and back-up questions.” Well, let’s see how she fares now the stiletto is on the other foot…
So, Louise, how did you end up in TV?
I wanted to be a journalist. So, after university, I started an internship at Elle. I remember seeing the fashion and thinking: ‘Wow! Is there any way to combine the writing with the shoes?’ I spent the next few years writing fashion and lifestyle features for women’s magazines.
Did you get talent spotted?
In 2006, I went on BBC Breakfast as a spokesperson for a magazine to discuss Asda’s £60 wedding dress. A producer watched it and asked me to audition when they recast What Not To Wear. I didn’t get the job but they offered me the role of stylist behind the scenes. It was a great learning experience.
Why did you move to LA?
I had a couple of meetings with E! Entertainment and began thinking I really wanted to move there. Waking up to sunshine every day really does make you happy.
We’re well jel! Many Brits in the industry struggle in America. Did you find it hard?
I didn’t have anything to lose – it’s not as if I was really successful in the UK already. LA people have a reputation for being bull*****ers but professionally I found people are creative and helpful to each other. More so than in London.
ABC’s live pre-Oscars show drew an audience of over 30 million viewers. Were you nervous presenting it?
It was the highlight of my career. I had so much adrenaline pumping! But we’d rehearsed loads and I felt really prepared.
And how was covering the Royal Wedding with Dermot O’Leary last year?
He’s the coolest dude to work with. My funniest memory was us racing to the Portaloos in Green Park when Kate and Wills were saying their vows. We’d done five hours of TV and every producer must have gone: “Anyone who needs to pee, go now!”
Have you always loved fashion?
Yes. When I was little I would pick the dress I wanted to wear that day, and if my mum chose another one, I would refuse to wear it!
Your third clothing range for the Home Shopping Network is out in September. Where do you find inspiration?
I keep a scrapbook. I’m constantly tearing things out of magazines or finding old Polaroids of my mum to stick in. She lived in Rio in the ’70s and there are wicked photos of her on the beach wearing high-waisted flares, headscarves and big, yellow sunglasses. I loved her style – the ’70s is definitely my favourite fashion era.
Who are your favourite designers?
I love Marchesa, and William Tempest is a great British designer. I love going to the Central St Martins graduate show because that’s where you find fresh meat.
You obviously know your stuff! What are your favourite high-street shops?
I’m obsessed with Zara, because they nail trends so quickly and so well. And Kurt Geiger is brilliant for shoes. Even if I could afford to, I wouldn’t dress top-to-toe in designer because the high street’s just too good.
We’d love a sneaky peek into your wardrobe. What’s it like?
Lots of bright colours, jumpsuits and scarves. At the moment, I’m loving prints and cropped, high-waisted trousers. If I pick an outfit in a hurry it always ends up being orange and mustard shades and quite boho. I have loads of chunky cocktail rings and the shoes I wear are pretty high and often bright.
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
About 150. My favourites are a pair of grey-gold toe-capped Christian Louboutin heels I bought as a “well done” to myself when I got Plain Jane. They’re edgy but classic. They were the last pair in my size and on sale – I think God was trying to tell me to buy them!
If you could style any celebrity who would it be?
Angelina Jolie. I’d put her in bright colours and soft lines to make her look more feminine.
Speaking of Hollywood stars, what’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you in LA?
I once sat down to dinner with a director at a sushi restaurant. He asked me: “Do you eat?”, and I laughed and said: “Er, yes. Is that OK?”. He didn’t find it funny. Moments like that make me miss England, where that would never, ever happen.
Madness! Have you ever dieted?
No, I like healthy food. When I’m working I eat quite a lot – I need the fuel. I start the day with porridge, then have red rice, veg and chicken for lunch, and turkey burgers for dinner. But we all have a naughty day, and I can’t resist a slice of pizza.
Do you have a fitness regime?
I try to go to the gym as well as Pilates three times a week. Pilates is fantastic for posture and core strength. Once filming starts, if I can fit 10 minutes of sit-ups at my hotel I’m pleased with myself.
Would you ever be tempted to go down the cosmetic surgery route?
I couldn’t speak for myself in 20 years, but right now I’m happy with the way I look. I did get a producer the other day tell me to say I was 28 in a meeting. I was like: “Yeah, right!”
You’d fool us! Who are your celeb crushes?
It’s a tie between Paul Walker and Chris Hemsworth. The other day Thor [Chris] was sitting at the table behind me at the Chateau Marmont hotel in LA and I was like [bursts into a fit of giggles]. I didn’t say hello, though – Josh is my numero uno!
Aww! You’ve been dating Josh for two years – is there a wedding on the horizon?
One day that would be lovely. Lots of my friends are getting engaged – they’re dropping like flies! My two older sisters are mummies and I’d love kids running around one day too.
● Louise’s shoe collection is available now at Stylistpick.com.