Disney XD star Kelli Berglund dishes on her Fashion Week experience
If you don't know who Kelli Berglund is yet, you definitely should. The actress and fashionista is making a name for herself at only 20 years old.
After being discovered by a talent agent during a dance show as a young child, Berglund started doing commercials. Eventually, she fell in love with acting and moved to LA to pursue her career full time. Many know her know as Bree Devenport on Disney XD's Lab Rats and the spinoff Lab Rats: Elite Force.
What people may not know about Berglund, however, is that she is a force to be reckoned with in the world of fashion. In 2015, she launched a fashion line collaboration with Style Club, and hopes to continue to be a part of the fashion world.
We had the chance to chat with Kelli about her NYFW experience, her fashion line and more. Watch the video above to see our rapid fire questions with her, and check out the interview below for our full interview!
How did your interest in fashion first begin -- you've been working on a collection called MUSE?
That was a collection I did with this Style Club last year. That was my first introduction into designing, which is really exciting. I had a really big part in that -- choosing design, color scheme, and all of that. But I think my first big interest in fashion started a year and a half ago. I've always loved dressing cute, and general fashion, but I never looked into it that much. Then, I'm not sure what changed one day -- maybe it was someone I follow on Instagram, someone like Gigi or Bella Hadid. I love them. They are one of my biggest fashion inspirations. So, I started to notice how things were changing and how people weren't wearing the same thing anymore.
Fashion has changed so much in the last year and it's all old 90s fashion. The more I saw runway shows and looked up big designers on YouTube, the more I started to take an interest. While I was shopping in stores, I wasn't just looking at t-shirts anymore. I started getting really into accessories and that's also when I realized that I love jackets. That all evolved over the past two years and year a half, and then I also made that clothing line, which was really awesome because I did a lot of research. I looked at so many different Pinterest boards and Tumblrs for inspiration. It made me realize that you can really do whatever you want with fashion. That's why I'm wearing this outfit today, because I like and because it's different, and I'd never seen anything like it. I love pushing that limit a bit with myself, even though to someone else it may not be out of their comfort zone, for me it is. But I feel comfortable doing that, I'm not forcing myself into being a certain way.
So, can you talk a little more about what the process was like seeing your clothing line MUSE come to life?
It's a lot more involved than I thought it would be. We had a four-hour meeting and sat down and talked about what we wanted to do. The people in charge of Style Club and myself we were all taking different ideas and telling each other, still cohesive, but they needed to be narrowed down. That process took a couple of weeks to complete, finally we decided was the designs were, then we had to narrow that down to only 12 pieces. Then we spent time making decisions on colors. It came out towards the end of last year and I knew it was during winter, but I didn't want it to be typical plaid for Christmas -- we had things in the collection that were cute but not traditionally Christmas. We had colors like periwinkle and baby pink and dark green, colors that you wouldn't think would go together but actually ended up looking really good. We wanted the line to be cute and casual, but to also be dressed up depending on how you wanted to style it. It was very open to interpretation. It's all very wearable. Then it came out and people were sending me tweets with screenshots of their orders and it just felt so surreal. People loved it and it got an amazing response. I designed it the way I would wear clothes and I would wear everything in the line so I was really stoked about it. I was really involved, it was awesome.
What has the NYFW experience been like for you so far?
It's been awesome. It's my first New York Fashion Week, so I had no idea what to expect. This is only my second time in New York. The last time I was here I was doing a lot of promotion for a movie a few years back, but this time I've been able to enjoy the city a bit more and see the sites. I've only been to one fashion show before, and it was in LA, it was Alice and Olivia and it was so fun. I love the brand, it was really cool.
But it was so cool to be sitting front row at some of these shows this week and the way they're all put together -- with the lights and the music -- it's just awesome. It was really exciting. I think some people would think it would be boring to sit and watch models walking by in clothes, but it's really fascinating honestly. Especially when you're obsessed with all of the pieces coming down the runway. I went to Custo Barcelona and I was just jaw-dropped the entire time. It has been super fun, a little stressful at times because things aren't always going to run 100% smoothly but it could have been way more stressful and I'm really happy it hasn't been.
Can you talk a little bit about when your love for acting first began?
I've kind of always had a love for performing and putting on a show for people. I grew up as a dancer and I loved it for so many years. I was about ten years old when I was doing a dance performance and there was a talent agent at the show who liked my dancing and approached my mom and I after and asked if we had an agent. We were so new to this business, no one in my family has ever done this before or been in the business, so at that point we had no idea what we were doing. I'm actually surprised I'm here now after all of the confusion we started with. But we tried it out and I booked a few commercials when I was younger, which was just the craziest thing ever to be on TV at that age. I was living my dream at 9 years old. So, I did that, which isn't really acting, but I was so young that it was a great introduction into the business.
Then I did this television show when I was really young called Hip-Hop Harry, which was basically like Barney but with a big bear, and we did hip-hop dances and taught life lessons. That was the first big thing I did. But I think when I really realized that I had a shot at this career and felt good about acting and pursuing it, was in a movie from a while back called "The Game Plan" with The Rock. I had auditioned for it and got callback after callback after callback for it, and they were narrowing it down -- it was a long process, I still remember it even though I was only 11 -- and finally they had me do a screen test with all of the producers and The Rock. It was me, Madison Pettis who ended up booking it and this one other girl. I was doing all of these scenes with The Rock and he was just the nicest guy, and I felt so legit, I just kept thinking "how am I here?" even though I ended up not booking it, that was a super crazy, eye-opening experience for me. I realized this wasn't just a hobby anymore, people actually think I'm good. It was really exciting and that's what drove me to keep going.
See Kendall strut her stuff on the catwalk at NYFW in the Vine below
How has social media helped you progress in your career?
I really honestly hate social media, but at the same time I love it. It's very much a love-hate relationship. I've seen a change over the years from when Twitter first started to when Instagram came out. It was like only photographers who used it to post their work, I remember my friend was a photographer and showed me for the first time, and now it's the biggest thing ever. I think the good thing about social media is that it's an awesome place to post your stuff and promote your work, that's how people find out about things now, so that part is helpful. But, also, not so much with all of the haters which sucks, but it's going to happen. It's also a great place to interact with fans on a level that's never really been accessible before. Celebrities have always been this unattainable thing, 20 years ago no one was getting a follow from their favorite person and responding to their messages. I think that part is really exciting for people and it gets them more excited about the things celebrities are doing, because if you're the kind of person who's going to interact with your fans and favorite their stuff and follow them back, that's really exciting for the fans. Especially because you may not realize it, but they love everything you do and they are so supportive. That part is still crazy to me, you know, I'm just Kelli. I love it for that reason.
What advice would you give to people who want to work in acting, or fashion or dancing?
I would say, it's never going to be perfect. You'll have to work hard. I'm glad that I figured it all out for myself when I was younger, I didn't have someone in my ear telling me the agent I needed to go to or this or that. I'm really glad because I learned a lot growing up in this business and figuring out how to work it. So, I would say really always be prepared for whatever you're doing, whether it's meeting with a manager or agent or going to an audition. It's always going to show and people will always appreciate it. That's my number one tip. Also, don't be afraid to take advice from others, I know that contradicts what I just said kind of. But I mean, listen to people who aren't just trying to tell you what they want. Listen to people who have experienced it and who are giving you true advice, and it may help you in not making the wrong decision all the time. Also, remember everything happens for a reason. The decisions aren't always up to you, sometimes it's about oh you know, you're not tall enough, you need a different hair color. In terms of acting, don't worry about it too much, just know that something better will happen for you.
What's next on the horizon for you? What are you looking forward to next?
I'm really excited about the project I just finished filming last month. "Christmas of Many Colors" for NBC is premiering November 30th and it's the continuation of last year, which was "A Coat of Many Colors" -- it's the story about Dolly Parton's life as a young girl growing up really poor and how she transitioned into Dolly Parton. I play her oldest sister in the movie, oldest of ten kids, so those were fun days on set. "Elite Force" is going to finish out episodes this year. The big episode for my character comes out super soon, and there's a story that continues from that, so I'm excited for fans to see that. The season finale of the show too.
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