Nicole Richie is one of those people whose style has evolved so naturally we almost forget about the bad hair days of The Simple Life. So much so that been fans of her many ventures into fashion — House of Harlow jewels, Winter Kate threads...and, now, of course, her limited-edition collection launching at Macy's in early September (we loved the campaign images we showed you guys two weeks ago). And while we spied the range back in July, we've finally got all the Nicole Richie for Impulse Only at Macy's flat shots.From printed, long-sleeved dresses to adorable velvet shorts, the pieces capture Richie's boho sensibility without emptying your wallet — the line starts at $49. While not every offering will make it into our fall wardrobe, there are some standouts that make the cut — we're particularly interested in those moto-inspired leggings and romantic 'n' graphic black-and-white blouse she debuted at an exclusive preview. Obviously, we just had to tap Ms. Richie herself for some style-savvy soundbites — we asked her everything from her top fashion icons to her own lil' Harlow. Read on, click through for the looks, and get your sneaks ready for when the line hits in September... with just a few weeks on the shelves, we're thinking this could be a bigger stampede than Marni for H&M.
What drew you to Macy's?
"When I was filming Fashion Star, I actually got the opportunity to work with Macy's, and it was an interesting process because I was working with the designers to present their collections to these various buyers. During that process I really got to understand the Macy's customer. I actually told the designers that the biggest difference in the process on Fashion Star and my process is that they get the week-to-week attention from these buyers, which is something that you will never get again. You present your collections once a season to buyers and then that's it — they either like it or they don't. That level of attention, with the buyers really explaining who their customer is (and what the retailer means) was something that I've never had before. When Macy's and I decided to partner up for the Impulse line, I felt like it was the perfect time... I had just come off the heels of Fashion Star and had spent so much time with their buyers really seeing them focus on their customer and their retail space."
What was the inspiration for the line?
"Well, it's still very much my aesthetic, very much me, but I also wanted to really focus on the Macy's girl. That Macy's girl that is definitely wanting to go for more of an eclectic style and a line that's extremely affordable and accessible. It's a small collection — just 25 pieces — and it's only out for six weeks, so it's very special and very true to Macy's."
Have you felt like it's difficult to balance it with all your other sartorial endeavors?
"No, I haven't. It all kind of goes together. If you look in some of the prints, especially the Aztec prints, you'll see they're inspired by different jewelry pieces that I've done within House of Harlow."
Speaking of Harlow, is your daughter developing her own style now?
"Not yet; I mean I don't put any sort of pressure on her whatsoever. I'm actually very sensitive to the fact that I have a girl, and I'm kind of keeping her away from that for as long as I can."
Who are some of your style icons?
"I would say my mother. She has a huge bathtub in the house that I grew up in, and she was constantly going out with my dad, and she had the most amazing closet. And I would sit in her bathtub and watch her get her hair and makeup done and watch her try on clothes — she had every Alaïa skirt you can think of — great Alaïa jackets from the '80s, bags...and of those all got passed down to me."
What celebrities do you think nail it on the red carpet right now?
"Well, I'm a huge fan of any celebrity that really just goes for it full force and is fearless with their fashion. You know, I don't have the same aesthetic as Beyonce, but she's fearless in her fashion and she really goes there, and that's something that I truly admire. I would say Gwen Stefani as well. She's head-to-toe perfection. And, although these women don't have a similar aesthetic to me, I love that they are who they are 100%."
What about other celebrity designer lines? Obviously there's a lot out there and not all of it is great...
"I don't look at clothing as either celebrity designs or not. I buy clothes because they speak to me, and there's really nothing else after that. Some of my clothes are from thrift stores and cost $10, so it's not necessarily about the brand for me."
Do you think that people are buying your clothes to be part of your brand or because they like them?
"I would probably say it's a mixture of both."
Photo: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage
Interview by Kristian Laliberte