What burning questions would you ask Kylie Minogue if you had five minutes to chat? FQ digital editor Kelly McAuliffe got that chance – here’s what she asked her.
“Hi Kelly, it’s Kylie here.”
Trying not to get overwhelmed that my childhood and teenage hero has just called my cellphone, I urge myself to hold it together to greet the one and only Kylie Minogue. Kylie certainly isn’t the first celebrity I’ve met or interviewed, but given my investment in her career (starting with her stint as Charlene on Neighbours, followed by the purchase of countless cassette tapes and CDs throughout the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s; and most recently, being invited to the launch of her new eyewear range with Specsavers in Sydney) it only stands to reason that this is an important five minutes for me.
Not yet June, and Kylie has already had an impressive year. She released her 14th album, Golden, in April; hit a milestone birthday on May 28 (her 50th); and has just launched her second eyewear collection with Specsavers after the first range was so successfully received in 2017.
Grabbing a chat in amongst her busy schedule was like gold dust – so here’s what I asked her:
First of all congratulations on your newest eyewear collection – your second with Specsavers! What has been the most “eye-opening” thing about getting to design an eyewear range?
I suppose a couple of things struck me – one was that anything is possible. Working with Specsavers, who are still a family-owned company, and Stig [Hansen, Specsavers’ Head of Design & Product Development] who has been in this field for years, meant I could literally come up with any crazy idea and they would say “yeah we’ll make up a prototype and let’s see!” The second thing was when Stig told me about the lead time needed for the designs; as opposed to a high street pair of sunglasses which they can knock up and churn out quickly, any glasses from Specsavers (including sunglasses) are deemed as a medical device and have to be of a certain quality. Of course, that’s stating the obvious, but I hadn’t really thought about that! I guess it made me realise how important these are in people’s lives.
Who would be the dream girl (or boy) you’d love to see walking down the street wearing your frames?
Countless people! I would love to see Nicole Kidman in them, and I know she’s worn glasses for a long time. But I’d be as excited to see Nicole Kidman in my glasses as you know, ‘Tracey from accounts’… When I think about people from wherever choosing to wear my frames for potentially on average 2-3 years, I’m really touched by that.
How does your choice of spectacles reflect your own sense of style?
I’m really not that faithful to one particular style – in clothing I can be very boy-ish one day and then the next day, super glamorous. So when it comes to spectacles, I’m lucky as I’ve got the luxury of having the entire range at my disposal! Currently I’m wearing the double bridge rose gold pair.
You are about to hit a milestone birthday – happy birthday for the 28th! What is the one piece of advice you would go back and tell your 21-year-old self?
I’d need a scroll! Don’t do this, don’t do that. Try this but don’t do it ever again… I don’t know where I’d start! Maybe I’d suggest a bit less hair mousse in the late 80s and slightly smaller earrings, but we were all guilty of that. I can only be very cliché and say ‘just try and enjoy it’. Maybe I’d tell myself to keep a diary?
Does beauty and confidence mean something different to you now than it did in your 20s and 30s?
Yes, totally. And it’s hard to put that into a couple of sentences what that is. I’m just having flashbacks of being 21 and being a bit worried about a spot. And now I go, ‘wow, there are so many other things to be concerned about!’. You’re still going to have concerns… they just shift and morph depending where you are in your life. It just never ends! I’m certainly now at a point in my life where the focus has changed and I have to say, it feels liberating.
You are such a symbol of resilience, in so many ways – career, life, love. No matter what life throws at you, you bounce back stronger than ever, always upbeat and have such an indestructible quality about you which makes you a role model to many. What advice would you give women struggling with body image, insecurities, career confusion and life’s little ongoing battles?
I think I am resilient; I’m a bit of a mixture. I think I have a strong constitution, my mind is strong… mostly. But then I can be struck down by the weirdest thing and I can actually be pretty delicate sometimes. It’s a mixture of strength and sometimes being fragile – we’re all human and we all have fragile moments. When I was ill and going through cancer treatment, I was asked a lot about that and people would tell you to stay positive and stay strong and I would pass that message on to other people. But I also found myself saying, ‘but it’s okay to fall down’. Yes, it’s good to tell people to be strong and to be positive, but if you’re not feeling like that all the time, that doesn’t make you less. Trust me, if you’re looking at pages in a magazine, or pictures of me where I’m looking great and you think I’m feeling fully confident, you have no idea what has happened to me just moments before hitting that red carpet, what happened earlier that day or what’s going to happen to me the next day. So just to bear in mind, we’re all human and we all try and put on our best and bravest face to the world at times. Of course women should feel strong and beautiful and whole, but whole means you’re many things. We are made of many things.
When was the last time you were in New Zealand and more importantly, when are you coming back?
It was the ‘X’ Tour, so that was 2008… I’m late basically, I’m really late! I would hope that I can bring my next tour to New Zealand, I would love that. I’m looking forward to my next tour so much, we’ve not yet locked in Australia and New Zealand dates but I’m pretty sure they’ll be happening, so watch this space…
The Kylie Minogue Eyewear collection, exclusive to Specsavers, is available in stores nationwide. The range of nine frames, including two fashion tints, start from $299 for two pairs.