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Nicole Richie: I Had Matching Tour Costumes With My Dad In the '80s

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David Crotty/Patrick McMullan/Sipa USA

Some fashionistas are born, others are made, and some picked up their best style tips from a Lionel Richie tour in the ’80s. Nicole Richie falls into the latter category. Though we’ve long loved the star’s effortless boho/urban/trendy/edgy style mix, we’ve never known the true origins of her interest in fashion — until now.

“My dad had a costume designer named Edna, and she would make me matching tour outfits out of his excess fabric. We’re talking jewels and sequins, very flashy,” she says in this month’s Philadelphia Style magazine. “She’d let me come to work with her in downtown L.A., and she showed me how she makes all these costumes. When I started competitively figure skating when I was 9, she and I designed all of my costumes together, and I just knew that it was something I wanted to do.”

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In the interview, conducted by friend (and fellow style star) Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Richie also gives plenty of credit for her fashion sense to her mom. “She had this huge bathtub, and I’d sit in it and watch her get her hair and makeup done,” she remembers. “There were just shelves of Chanel bags and vintage Azzedine Alaïa skirts and the craziest outfits, because she was going out with my dad every night. And I’d just watch her and I’d think to myself, That’s what I want to look like when I’m older.”

Richie juggles several apparel and accessory lines under her name — House of Harlow 1960, Winter Kate and a line for QVC. And in true Richie fashion, her description of the QVC compound in Penn. made us laugh out loud. “QVC is nuts. It’s so big that every time I go to the headquarters, I think it’s like Jurassic Park, only without the dinosaurs,” she says. “QVC is just so in tune with its customers … When you go in there as a designer, you have to focus on who their customer is. Things like what their needs are, what fabrics they’re drawn to, their likes and dislikes, down to what’s their climate. It’s just a totally different world for me.”

For more from Richie and Whiteley, check out their interview at, and tell us: Who most influenced your style? Do you remember your earliest fashionista moment?

–Alex Apatoff