Nicole Richie, known for her former role on the 2003 reality television show The Simple Life, has worked her way into the fashion industry following the launch of her brand, House of Harlow 1960.
As a child, Richie engaged in competitive figure skating. “This was during the time that Nancy Kerrigan was in the Olympics and Vera Wang designed her Olympic dress,” she says. Inspired by Kerrigan’s outfit, Richie decided to create her own skating costumes, which sparked her love for fashion design.
“That was really my first introduction to the idea that you could come up with something in your head and then have it come to life about two weeks later.”
Now Richie spends most of her time creating ready-to-wear collections under the label House of Harlow 1960, which is sold through the online retailer Revolve.com. Within a year and a half of selling through the site, Richie’s brand is one of the most powerful – out of 600 competing brands.
“I have been working on this from the time I was 24. I really didn’t even know if it was something that I could turn into a business. I knew that I loved creating, but obviously, there’s more to it than that. Once I got into the business, I never looked back,” she says.
I recently spoke with Richie about how she made this career transition and established herself as a serious designer. Here she shares five lessons she has learnt in building her brand and managing motherhood along the way.
Create your own version of success
When Richie first started out as a designer she said that she felt a lot of pressure to prove herself so that others would take her seriously. “I am a serious designer. At the same time, I’m still me. I learnt very quickly that validation cannot come from someone else”. Richie says that the worst thing you can do in the fashion business is to make decisions based off another persons idea of what good looks like. “ There are many versions of success and everyone has to define this for themselves . For me, I want to be able to stand behind what I’m doing. Even if it’s a failure, it’s my failure and I can stand behind that,” she says.
Know where you customers are
Part of Richie’s success as a designer was her decision to collaborate with the online retailer, Revolve.com. “This business has changed. The world has changed over the past 10 years, which is how long I’ve been in this. For me this was a pretty simple decision because that’s where my customer is,” says Richie. Taking House of Harlow 1960 out of department stores was driven in part by Richie’s desire to market directly to women in their 20’s and 30’s. Now, Richie is planning to sell her footwear and small leather goods in the same way. “You have to know where your customers are. And online is where they are,” says Richie.
Make a personal connection
With a focus on developing her online business, Richie was able to better connect with her customers. “I definitely feel a personal connection to these women. I make a very strong effort to really understand them. I want to know who they are.” Richie says the online business focus meant that she could have a direct conversations with her customers and adapt her approach based on their ever-changing needs. “To watch that evolution, not only of your customer but of yourself, as a designer is actually very exciting,” she says.
Nicole Richie appears on the latest episode of Joyce Azria‘s podcast ‘Success Redesigned’, which was recorded in May. Joyce describes Nicole as being “as dreamy as eating chocolate and having your hair blowdried at the same time in CABO.”
As Nicole Richie‘s fashion empire, House of Harlow 1960, turns 10 years old, Nicole reflects on growing her brand, the definition of success and what she’s learned about herself along the way in the ‘No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis’ podcast.
The Emmy Awards aren’t until September 17th, but the TV Academy begin the nomination process on June 11th. The Hollywood Reporter have put together a photoshoot with 33 supporting actors and actresses who they see as possible contenders.
This included Nicole Richie who co-starred in NBC’s ‘Great News’ as co-anchor Portia, although the show was unfortunately cancelled after 2 seasons. Official Emmy nominees will be announced on July 12th.
Who was your first TV crush?
Most intimidating scene?
I shot a music video, my very first one. I was so excited even though it wasn’t mine in real life, I felt like it was. This was my Britney moment and I really wanted to do a good job. And I was just living my dream.
Favourite TV show as a teen?
I never missed Beverly Hills, 90210; that show gave me every lesson I needed to learn in life. We learned about divorce, adoption, getting burned, addiction. That show changed me.
Click here to watch brief video interview.
Whilst at Coachella, ELLE Magazine spoke to Nicole Richie about her beauty secrets, especially whilst in the desert.
Nicole told ELLE, “I’m not a big ‘cake on the makeup’ person. We’re in the desert, I’m from California—I want to look good, but I’m not trying to weigh myself down with 700 pounds of makeup.”
She has also always been open about her limited makeup skills: “I don’t know how to do my own makeup. I have three tricks that I know, and that’s it. So, if nothing else, throw on a nice little red-orange lipstick and it’ll bring out the rose in your face.”
1. She’s learned that less is more.
“Over the past two decades, I felt I needed a lot more before—I needed extensions, foundation, the brows, so many things. Then, I got to a place where I was more confident and wanted to show who I was, because being somebody else can be fun for a second but at the end of the day, it ends up being tiring because it’s not you. That doesn’t mean that I hate makeup. I am somebody who is all about being your most authentic self and representing who you really are and loving makeup at the same time.”
2. She was once ashamed of her curly hair.
“In the ’80s, having curly hair was not cool at all and I would go to school with all of my white friends and they would show up just out of the shower with their wet hair and I was like, ‘Oh my God, why can’t I be just like them?’ I was almost ashamed to have curly hair and now I love it. It’s who I am. It’s me, so I’m down to rock that right now.”
3. She loved crazy hair colors, but it caused serious damage…
“I loved the lavender, it was when I started [wearing unique hair colors] and I would definitely say that’s my all-time favorite. It was the biggest change for me. Once I got into color, I would change my hair like it wasn’t that big of a deal. Then, it all fell out and I had to cut it off.”
Click here to read all 6 of Nicole Richie’s beauty secrets.
Whilst at Coachella, Nicole Richie spoke to Cosmopolitan about the beauty products she actually uses – including her camera and bag!
Nicole takes her Canon PowerShot G7 X with her everywhere, “so I can take photos of everything that happened — especially if I’m not going to remember.” She has everything in her straw tote bag separated into a few smaller bags. “I’m a bag within a bag person because I’m a Virgo. We don’t want to be messy. We want to keep ourselves organized.”
Cosmo says: The first bag she keeps is a dark green velvet drawstring pouch for her crystals because “everyone is an animal.” he second is a small printed House of Harlow 1960 bag (part of her new collaboration with Urban Decay) where she keeps her makeup, and the last is a small red case (that she jokes is monogramed with “NCR” just in case she forgets her initials) for her skincare. Here’s a look at what’s inside those last two.
Read below to find out the 15 products Nicole Richie actually uses, or read on the Cosmopolitan website here.
Nicole Richie recreated some of her favourite looks from the 2000s for Paper Magazine. The photos were shot by Douglas Friedman. Check our Tumblr for comparisons. Nicole also gave a brief interview, including revealing some style guidelines she has. Here’s a snippet:
“It’s little things, like I don’t wear red lipstick when I’m going to do a talk show. If I have to speak, it’s just not who I am. I just can’t do it.
Also — I’m cold all the time, so if there’s an opportunity for me to throw a turtleneck under something or wear something that’s beautiful and long-sleeved, I will absolutely do it…I also don’t want to hide behind a lot of hair or a lot of makeup — I just want to breathe and be present and absolutely be there without a lot of armor around me.”
Just as I was prepared to lock up the early 2000 Nicole & throw away the key, @papermagazine asked me to re-create some of my looks for the most fun photo shoot I've done in a long time. I got to play with wigs, small dogs, and laughed for about 8 hours straight. So here she is, in all her glory… minus the Percocet. Love you! 💅🏿