Having put The Simple Life and her wild child past behind her, Nicole Richie has grown up and reinvented herself as a wife, mother and successful fashion designer. She has her House of Harlow 1960 and Winter Kate lines and a new collection for QVC. Now, Lionel Richie’s daughter is taking her style expertise to NBC’s new competition Fashion Star, where she’ll serve as a mentor to contestants vying for the chance to launch their collections at Macy’s, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue stores.
Richie joins singer-turned-designer Jessica Simpson and designer John Varvatos to advise the 14 designers. “We all got to work with each designer, which I think was really helpful for them because we all bring something different. We all brought different opinions, and we're not competing against each other. We were all working together at making all the designers the best version of themselves. It was important for me to hold their hands and say, ‘We are all going through this together.’ Being successful in one season doesn’t convey success in the next. It’s a crap-shoot every time and I didn’t want them feeling I was in a higher place than them,” says Richie, who told the design hopefuls, “It’s grueling and a lot of work, so we’re going to hold hands and walk through this together.”
With her QVC collection, including dresses, blouses and handbags, “I’m trying to encourage women to get excited about the word 'comfortable.' I do believe that it is possible to be comfortable and confident on the inside and elegant on the outside,” she says, noting that the creative and business sides go hand in hand in a successful line. “It’s very important to know your customer and have a good relationship with the retailers and respect the retailer's opinion."
For Richie, the mother of two young children ages four and two, it wasn’t easy juggling family and her own design work with Fashion Star. “The time commitment was 24 hours. There is no trick to it,” she says. “It’s hard work and you do what you have to do.”
Fashion Star premieres March 13 at 9:30 p.m. on NBC.
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