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Exclusive: Nicole Richie On Her Chic New Affordable Line For Macy’s

You’ve seen the sketches and gotten a sneak peek at one of the pieces worn by the designer at her launch dinner party. Now—finally—you can peep Nicole Richie’s new capsule collection for Macy’s Impulse, which hits the department store and its website on September 12. The line features boho-chic, 1970s-inspired jackets, dresses, leggings, and skirts, and costs from $49 to $149. ELLE caught up with the multi-talented designer, Fashion Star mentor, and stylish mom, to talk about how this label came to be and what’s next for her slowly building empire.

ELLE: What inspired the Macy’s Impulse line?

Nicole Richie: While I was working on Fashion Star with the designers, who were presenting collections to the buyers each week, I really got the opportunity to understand the buyers’ points of view—especially Macy’s. When we decided to do this partnership, I was just off the heels of Fashion Star, and I really had my ears open that entire time, just taking in all of the information that I possibly could.

ELLE: How did you apply what you learned from Fashion Star to your designs?

NR: I just focused a little bit more on the Macy’s girl, who aims towards that eclectic, fun, version of fashion. She loves mixing and matching. So I did a play on that in a few different ways by mixing masculine and feminine, such as a top with faux leather and chiffon, which is one of my favorites. Or I did dresses with the same prints with different color ways to give it a multidimensional feel. Macy’s is the iconic American retailer; and I feel that today more than ever, American woman are so multidimensional. They’re wearing so many different hats, so this is kind of my nod to them: designing pieces that represent all different sides to the American woman.

ELLE: What makes this line different and similar to your other two labels, Winter Kate and House of Harlow 1960?

NR: Everything from the buttons to the zipper details throughout the collection has little nods to the jewelry that I do for House of Harlow. You’ll see a lot of the designs being brought into this specific collection. But I try not to focus on how it’s different. It’s still very much my aesthetic, very much me. Like I said, I definitely focused on the Macy’s girl with the mixed prints and different fabrics. And, this line is extremely affordable and accessible. It’s only a 25-piece collection that’s out for six weeks.

ELLE: Describe it in three words.

NR: Fun, eclectic, and effortless.

ELLE: How do you think your collection will stand out at Macy’s against other designer lines, like Jessica Simpson and Rachel Rachel Roy?

NR: It’s not even something I think about. When I’m in the mode of creating, I just create. I don’t really focus on making it different from other people’s. There’s enough room in this industry for everyone so it’s not really a competition; it’s just about me designing and me creating.

ELLE: Basically, it’s not Fashion Star.

NR: Yeah!

ELLE: What’s next for your brand?

NR: Ultimately Winter Kate and House of Harlow will become lifestyle brands, so I’m expanding, but slowly. I’m doing that on purpose, because I need to put my heart and soul into everything I do.

ELLE: What about branching into beauty?

NR: I would focus on hair before makeup.

ELLE: Why hair?

NR: Because I’m the best hairstylist in the world!

Aug 17, 2013 – Elle – Written by Lauren Levinson