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Interview: Nicole Richie On Being A Fashion Star Mentor

Whether you know her as a reality television star, fashion designer, author, singer or mother, it may seem like Nicole Richie has done it all. Now, Nicole is stepping into a new role as mentor to up and coming designers on Fashion Star. Alongside Jessica Simpson and John Varvatos, Nicole helps guide these designers in the right direction to become the first Fashion Star. Real Style Network spoke to Nicole about her experience guiding the designers on the show.

How would you compare doing this reality show and this kind of reality TV experience to some of what you’ve done in the past?

Nicole Richie: Being a mentor is something that’s new for me but a role that I take very seriously. It was a wonderful experience doing it. I wanted to be their friend as well. When we were in the design studio I always was pretending like I was in a closet asking my friend before I step out into the world what do I look like? And everybody wants that honest friend before they go and go to dinner or go to an event. So I kind of took that role as being their friend and giving them the good, the bad, and the ugly not in a mean and judgy way, just actually trying to be their friend. We all had that relationship and it was totally fine. So I was able to be honest and give my personal opinion. And sometimes they would take it and sometimes they wouldn’t. But we were all having fun during the process and that’s the most important thing.

What has working with these designers taught you about yourself? Does the fact that you’re now a mom make you want to be kinder to them because you worry about how people would treat your kids?

Nicole Richie: Well my position is a mentor so right off the bat I am just trying to help them get to the best versions of themselves. I had a wonderful relationship with all of the designers. We have that kind of friendship relationship which was very important to me. I was constantly reminding these designers that as they were finishing up their spring collections, John, Jessica, and myself were doing the exact same. So we were all going through this journey together and, you know, you’re really only as successful as your last collection. So we are all kind of walking into our spring collections with a little bit of a question mark. I was letting them know that they’re not alone during this.

What’s been the biggest challenge for you in helping the designers translate their own inspiration into their style?

Nicole Richie: I don’t know that there necessarily has been a challenge. The biggest challenge for me obviously is my frustration with the buyers, because we work so closely with these designers and they do work very hard under very small time constraints. It’s always sad to see someone go home. It’s also sad to see the clothes not get bought, because as a designer I can relate to working so hard and really believing in a piece and then having it not be bought. But that is the fashion business for you.

Can you talk about what it feels like to just be there in person sitting there watching these people you’re mentoring potentially seeing their dreams come true?

Nicole Richie: It’s something that I can’t even really put into words, because I have grown so close with these designers and consider them friends. To watch them have this opportunity is just something that is mind blowing. It’s an opportunity that John, Jessica, and myself don’t even have. I’m constantly telling these designers do you know how lucky you are to have these buyers focusing on your collections each week? Because personally I have buyers look at my collection once a season and they pretty much like it or they don’t. But to get that feedback and that kind of runway show is just something that people can only dream of. It is so exciting for them and to watch their dreams come true is just mind blowing.

When you started out in the fashion business did you have a mentor and could you tell us who that was and the things that that person helped you with?

Nicole Richie: I would say my biggest mentor has been my father because he always has been. Actually both of my parents have always been ones to encourage me to be myself and stay true to myself and not fall into what other people want me to do. It is important not to copy other people’s careers but set the tone of who you want to be. My father’s always encouraged me to do that.

We hope that Nicole can carry on her father’ s important message of being yourself to these designers. Watch Fashion Star Tuesday at 10 pm on CTV Two.

Mar 28th, 2012 – Real Style Network