Nicole Richie has already translated her trendsetter status into a full-fledged career as a designer, and now she's bringing her style expertise to TV. Nicole joins forces with fellow fashion success stories Jessica Simpson and John Varvatos to mentor up-and-coming designers on NBC's Fashion Star, which debuts this evening at 9.30 p.m ET on NBC. Nicole chatted with us recently to talk about the project. She explained what sets this series apart from some of the other fashion-focused reality competitions out there, shared her advice for young designers, and talked about what she wished she knew before starting her own lines.
It's not just about making the most, you know, elaborate dress out of curtains. All three of us are so different and I think that's what is going to make it so great. Hey, guys, it's Lindsay from Pop Sugar and I'm here today with Nicole Ritchie from Fashion Star. Hello. Hello, so we're very excited about this show. Thank you. It looks amazing. It does, it looks great. Now tell us how it's a little different from some of the other fashion reality shows that have been out there. Well I think what makes this so original is that as America is watching the clothes that go down the runway, they can order those clothes immediately online that night or go in the stores the next day and buy it the very next day. So we're talking about immediate fashion, accessible fashion at an accessible price. Now that's got to be really exciting for all of these young designers to come in and get their work actually in stores. This is a huge opportunity for them, not only is that such a great opportunity, but there's also three very well well respected buyers that have their attention on these designer every single week and that's an opportunity that I've never had and neither has John or Jessica. I mean, we meet with buyers once a season and they pretty much just like our stuff or they don't and it's very, very fast and to have their attention and focus on these designers and guiding them through and teaching them the business is a very big opportunity for them. Well, and it's got to be very valuable for them to have you, and Jessica and John because you've all been so successful in your own endeavors and I'm wondering too, you and Jessica have very different personal styles so what have you kind of taken from each other as you've worked together on the show. Well all three of us are so different, and I think that's what is going to make it so great. We aren't just working with specific designers. Each one of us is working with all 14 designers and we are really leaving our personal opinions to ourselves. It's more, it's more about encouraging them to go with their gut and know the business and really just be fearless in this competition because that's what it takes to be successful in this business. Is there anything you wish you'd known when you were starting out with your collections that you've learned now? The biggest thing that I try and tell each of these designers is that there is a difference in being an artist and being a brand and we're focusing on being a brand. It's not just about making the most, you know, elaborate dress out of curtains, it's about listening to buyers and focusing on your retailers and thinking where you want this to sit on the floor, thinking about price points fabrics so that you don't watch them one time and then never see them again. What have you learned about maybe the flip side of the industry from Elle as a model? Well, Elle was a host, so Elle, I really only saw her on the stage days and so it was more just Conjohn that I worked with everyday. And right as we were finishing our spring collections, these designers were doing same. So, we were kind of telling them we are all going through this together. And, you know, holding their hands and letting them know that we're not here and they're here. You know, you're really only as good as your last collection. Now, do they actually design and create the clothes during the span of one episode? Yes they do. A little stressful I'm sure. Yes, yes very stressful for them. Have there been any sort of major disasters that were averted? There have been a few disaster that I'm sure you'll see, sure, yeah. What's been your favorite moment so far? Working with such great people made me really excited to come to work everyday. So, that was so much fun, and also, I became so emotionally attached to a few of the designers and you really want to see them succeed, and you know, we get very sad to watch them go home, and you know it's just, we've kind of become this little family. Yeah I imagine it's really hard to cut people in situations like this. Thank God I don't have to do it, the retailers do, so. Exactly. Yes. But it is very hard. What is the piece you bought for fall/winter that's like your favorite? I love to buy jackets. I love to buy coats. I bought a great Helmut Lang black blazer and I wore it you know, I wore it every day. I think a great blazer is something that's definitely important for fall and winter. And if you had to choose between bags, clothes or shoes, what would you go for? I would always choose accessories because they can really change up an outfit. You can wear jeans and a t-shirt and throw on a different pair of shoes, and it really changes the entire outfit. Now, is there one piece of fashion advice you'd give for young designers out there having done the show? I would say that there's a difference in being an artist and being a brand and you have to decide what you to be.