“There’s no better feeling than working with friends,” Nicole Richie shares with CR, smiling over the phone. It’s another not-so-sunny day in Los Angeles, and Richie, like the rest of the world, is confined to her own quarters, where she’s scheduling homeschool lessons for daughter Harlow and son Sparrow between caring for her edible garden and reading novels about the end of the world. To make this situation even stranger, it’s raining, “which it never does in LA,” she laughs.
After splashing onto the early aughts’ social scene, the adopted daughter of Lionel Richie made the highly sought-after jump from designer-muse to designer with the launch of House of Harlow 1960 in 2010. Ten years later, Richie is much more than a Hollywood daughter, forwarding her fashion venture through her tenure on the red carpet and her role in various TV series—the latest of which, Making the Cut, premieres today. The second marriage between Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn after the pair infamously left the Project Runway design room in 2018, the Amazon-powered show seeks to find the next big name in fashion. Richie joins friends in and outside of fashion Klum, Joseph Altuzarra, and CR‘s own Carine as Making the Cut‘s judges, and the contestants are comprised of 12 brand-owning designers hailing from around the globe.
Through the competition, which is not only streaming on Amazon Prime Video but also has a built in See-Now, Buy-Now element, the future of fashion has never seemed quite so close. In it, we follow the foursome, along with Gunn, across the world and back, as Making the Cut tries to reckon the runway with the financial realities of the fashion industry. And along the way, we observe candid moments of biting critique and tender camaraderie on both sides of the catwalk. Here, Richie speaks to CR about the importance of mentorship, the experience of filming, and how to find light in darkness.
The first series of its kind, Making the Cut premieres online on Amazon Prime Video today. What attracted you to getting involved with the project in the first place?
“Joseph and I were actually talking about this recently. I credit so much of where I am in the industry to this day to the people that have given me advice—those that have sat me down to talk about their own experiences—and Joseph said that the same was true for him. It’s so important to share knowledge or insight or perspective when you have it, especially in this business. So anytime I can pay it forward, it’s an automatic yes. On top that, I’m such a big fan of Heidi and Tim that I knew I had to be a part of what they were creating.”
With House of Harlow 1960, or in general, who are some people that have personally helped you on your journey?
“I’ve been in this business for ten years, so I wouldn’t say that I’ve had just one mentor. It’s been everybody from close friends like Rachel Zoe, Katherine Power, and Joyce Azria, who ran BCBG for years, to people in the industry that I look up to and respect like Joseph and Tory Burch. I’m so grateful for how open people have been with me; sharing their experiences, struggles, and hurdles. The thing about the fashion industry is that there is not just one way to go about it. There’s no single path. When I started, e-commerce didn’t really exist. Now look where we are today.”
The world has seen a plethora of fashion competition reality shows, and you yourself even appeared as a judge on NBC’s Fashion Star in 2012. What is different about Making the Cut?
“Fashion Star was really the first time people could watch something on the runway on their screens, like it, and then buy it in stores, which is similar to Making the Cut, in a way. But the big difference is that now we’re working with established designers, who have their own known lines and are from all around the world. Instead of looking at the emerging, it’s about finding the next global brand. It’s not a sewing competition. We’re taking their passions and seeing how we can help them move to the next level.”
There were a few moments of tension during the series where we see you and Naomi disagreeing in the critiques. What was the energy between the judges—surely, a group of personalities—like?
“There were definitely times when Carine would like something that Heidi didn’t or Heidi would like something that Naomi didn’t or I….etc… I mean, that all comes down to personal taste, which is not what the show is about. We were allowed to say ‘oh, I like this,’ or ‘this is not for me.’ We all have very different personal styles, which is why I think we were all picked to be on the panel. I remember the last night that we were on set, we were trying to pick the winner. It was a really huge decision for us, because at that point all the finalists deserved it in a way. But it was never necessarily a choice of aesthetics. It all came down to: who do we think can take the money and run with it? Who can turn their business into a global brand? Although we may have not agreed all the time about personal style, we were all on the same page for the competition. As far as the actual filming, the time on set was incredibly fun. It was all laughs—I’ll definitely never forget that summer.”
Because of COVID-19, we are in a state of crisis. Recently, we’ve seen fashion conglomerates as big as LVMH and Kering lending their resources to creating hospitals and supplies as well as smaller labels lending their crafts. What responsibility do you think fashion has right now to help the world get through this?
“It would be really difficult to speculate or make specific suggestions. I think a lot of people are doing what they can do to give any knowledge or materials to help. The thing is, there isn’t one company alone that can solve the world’s issues. It’s obviously important to think big and on a macro level, but it’s equally important to think about what we as individuals can do, too. We can help flatten the curve and use our own resources. It’s not just a fashion issue, it’s an everybody issue. The entire world is here right now. We’re all going through this together.”
Other than Making the Cut, what else are you going to be binging as we stay confined to our homes?
“So, initially I started going through a list of 100 of the best films ever made. I watched Citizen Kane for the first time and a few other classics. But lately I realized that I’ve been craving comedy and light humor; at the end of the day I need that balance. So, while I’m watching movies that take place in other countries—because we don’t know when we’ll be able to travel again—I’m also watching Wedding Crashers and Adam Sandler moves. It’s up to us to find the light in the everyday.”
Making the Cut is streaming on Amazon Prime Video now.END
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createdAt:Wed, 25 Mar 2020 17:39:35 +0000