You can often identify a TV character by her signature outfit item. Gina Rodriguez is championing for one of her childhood-favorite brands to be incorporated into her wardrobe on Jane the Virgin. After chatting with the actress about becoming the new face of Kipling, we can't help but notice that her beloved handbags are on-point with her character Jane's cheerful maternity style—and that the brand found the right girl for its latest Make Happy campaign. Find out what can always make the stylish star smile as well as what's in her purse, her hidden talents and the items she stole from the set of her hit series.
What makes you most happy? “My family, my dogs, my friends—the people around me. [With] possessions and your career, there’s just too much instability and it is very fickle. There are a lot of beautiful things that can happen, obviously, in those realms, but there’s something special about just being with friends and family: laughter, exchanging experiences and memories and creating new ones. That makes me happy, always. It reminds me that I’m not alone in this journey.”
What are three items we can always find in your purse? "Lip balm: rosebud salve ($6), Clinique superdefense ($47) for my face because the sun in serious in California and dog food because I carry my dogs around with me a lot."
How would you say your personal style compares to Jane’s? “Both Jane and Kipling are very colorful, and I love color. Being from the Caribbean islands, bright colors really excite me. I wouldn’t say I’m as feminine as Jane is. Jane definitely has a very feminine style, and mine can end up being much more casual: jeans, a leather jacket and boots. I wear clothes that fit first and foremost, that make me feel good and comfortable in my skin—that’s usually my style.”
Any favorite maternity items? "I told [costume designer Rachel Sage Kunin] if I ever get pregnant she has to dress me because the way she dressed my character was outstanding. I always felt so comfortable, and it was so complimentary—the different A-line dresses. There are these T-shirts—yellow-and-white striped and pineapple [print]—I ended up taking home with me. It’s stretchy for the belly, then went right back but it’s also [still] stretchy for when I need [it] to be."
Will we ever see Jane carrying one of Kipling's diaper bags? “I think that would be a great integration because Jane definitely will have to be rocking some diaper bags next season. Everything in Kipling is just so fun and makes you smile, and Jane is very much that: a woman who wants to surround herself with brightness and happiness—and full of life."
Jane has a collection of affordable attire. Do you have any budget-friendly shopping tips? "I think that you’re allowed to wear something more than once—if not very many times. As an actress, you’re always being photographed and changing clothes, but as a human being, why wouldn’t I wear the same dress twice or three times? Or maybe six or seven? I’m actually super frugal, so for me it's not about how much it costs; it’s about how it looks on you. Don’t be concerned with putting on big labels because at the end of the day, if it’s really great, it doesn’t really matter what the label is."
Aside from rapping, what are your hidden talents? “I can ride a unicycle. I should really be in the circus—that’s my back-up career should anything go awry.”
Shop Rodriguez's colorful staples here, and tune in to the season finale of Jane the Virgin tonight at 9pm EST on The CW.