Amid the quicksands of celebrity culture, it’s a refreshing change to witness the slow evolution of Nicole Richie. The girl who came to prominence as Paris Hilton’s sleepy-eyed, sarcastic sidekick on The Simple Life ran the usual tabloid gauntlet, including some (sort of) memorable feuds, and a stint in rehab. Miraculously, over the last few years, Richie has settled down, giving birth to two children by her fiancé, Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden, and launching a clothing and jewelry line. Said line, House of Harlow 1960, could have ended up like many a celebrity fashion effort–as footnote on her Wikipedia page. But the vintage-inspired pieces, classically loud (not unlike our heroine), were universally well-received and are now carried at on-point boutiques like Shopbop. Richie’s expansion into a full clothing line, Winter Kate, takes the designs out of the 1930s and into the 1960s. The results echo the gently undone style of southern California with gauzy gypsy dresses and easy shift dresses. Before she jaunts over here to the East Coast for Fashion’s Night Out, Ritchie wrote to us on her inspirations and the importance of music.
MOHNEY: Can you describe the kind of woman you had in mind when designing?
RICHIE: The Winter Kate-House of Harlow 1960 customer is a multi-tasker, therefore it’s important that they are able to put together an outfit with ease and elegance. Pieces that are easy to mix within their own wardrobe. Easy dressing while maintaining a well put together look.
MOHNEY: What’s your approach to design? Do you sketch or get ideas from people on the street, etc.?
RICHIE: There a few different layers to the approach. First I figure out the various fabrics that inspire me. Second, because prints are a significant part of the collection, I select the prints that excite me–we produce our own prints–then we discuss the various silhouettes.
MOHNEY: What’s next for your fashion line? What do you see it growing into?
RICHIE: We are just about to launch handbags and eyewear for the first time for SS11. There are many possibilities, ultimately I am aiming for it to grow into a full life style brand.
MOHNEY: Being with a musician [fiancé Joel Madden], does music impact your design?
RICHIE: Music is a huge part of my life, I enjoy every genre of music from jazz to country, and I even get down with a bit of hip hop. But my everyday music is classic rock. It’s what I relate to the most and where my heart is. As for style, there is something about the way musicians dress–they seem to be able to create their own world within their fashion alone.
Unk 2010 – Interview Magazine