Nicole Richie in fashion, at work and at home


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Following in the footsteps of her blond celebrity brethren Jessica Simpson and Rachel Zoe, Nicole Richie has a fashion line that seems like it’s ready for takeoff.

Richie launched the House of Harlow 1960 jewelry line in 2008. Last spring she added ready-to-wear* under the label Winter Kate. (Her backer is Montreal-based Majestic Mills.) And although she hasn’t yet had a show or presentation during New York or Los Angeles Fashion Week, there is evidence she is upping her fashion profile, making personal appearances to promote the brand, and hosting the kickoff festivities for L.A.’s Fashion’s Night Out earlier this month at the Beverly Center. She’s also starring in NBC’s ‘Fashion Star’ designer competition series (along with Simpson) beginning in January.


Her designs, like Richie herself, are very boho, witchy woman, rock goddess, ‘60s and ‘70s vintage chic. For fall, there are fringed velvet bed jackets, firefly-print maxi dresses, silk camisoles and short-shorts, but no pants that I can tell. Accessories include beaded moccasins, velvet booties and ponyskin bags in the $195-to-$695 price point, and jewelry has antler, chevron, arrow and stud motifs.

When I visited Richie on Monday, she had just returned from a girls’ weekend in Mexico to celebrate her 30th birthday. She even showed me the red beaded dress she wore on her birthday night, a vintage piece purchased at L.A.’s The Way We Wore, which she chopped off to make micro-mini short.

Richie’s house -- which she shares with husband Joel Madden of the band Good Charlotte, and their two kids Harlow and Sparrow -- is canyon cool with natural wood floors, a sunken living room, big brick fireplace, kilim rugs, fur throw pillows, a terrarium, and two taxidermy chickens dressed in aristocratic finery.

There was incense burning, Hendrix on the sound system and the family cat, an Abyssinian named Gypsy, roaming about, even jumping in front of the camera during our photo shoot. And befitting a rock ‘n’ roll household, the bar cart was well stocked.

Stevie Nicks would feel right at home in Richie’s office, which looks out over the treetops. Her antique desk is covered with line sheets and sketches, and there is a red-feathered tribal headdress (a gift from Madden) sitting on a side table. (She also has a downtown studio, where her design team is set up.)

Seeing her house was a nice entree into Richie’s sense of style. Stay tuned for my story about the tabloid sensation-turned-brand builder (and novelist!) in a few weeks.



Rachel Zoe’s world

New York Fashion Week: Rachel Zoe

-- Booth Moore

Top photo: Nicole Richie during a Fashion’s Night Out event earlier this month at the Beverly Center. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times.

Bottom photos: The Winter Kate fall 2011 look book. Credit: Hugh Lippe.

[*Update 9/29/11, 3:09 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly described the Winter Kate label as including footwear. It does not.]