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2012 February 16

Richie Rich, All Grown Up?

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Richie Rich, before and after Richie Rich, before and after
Giorgio Niro
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(NEW YORK) With a newish line called Pop Luxe and a Nick Gruber-esque beau, the thirtysomething Richie Rich seems to be embracing adulthood at last. The Daily and stylist Derek Warburton intervened to give this fashionette the dapper look he deserves!

What do you think of your new look?
I love it. It’s like being an actor—I’m downplaying my kooky side. I grew up really preppy. At our last show, Ellen DeGeneres asked my mom if she knew I’d grow up to be a fashion designer. Mom told her that I always wore Ralph Lauren covered in spray paint and glitter.

When was the last time you wore a suit?
I went to a wedding about a month ago, but I didn’t wear one. Don’t you love that [Richie’s boyfriend] Ross is doing this interview in his underwear?

It’s certainly a first! You seem very comfortable.
Ross Higgins:
I love to be naked.

So you’re back at the Tents this season?
Yes. You know, people always think I’m (Heatherette co-designer) Traver (Rains) and that I should have a cowboy hat on. 

Does that annoy you?
A little.
People confuse me for Macaulay Culkin, so we’re equal. Traver is now in LA doing photography and making incredible t-shirts. I don’t like to design alone. I like to build a team with that Warhol factory feeling.

What else is new?
We’ve signed a deal with Dick Clark productions that nobody knows about for a reality TV show called Celebutante with Richie and Ross. It’s hopefully going to be on VH1. We also have a record deal with Warner Bros. Records. I want to do everything!

What should we expect from the show?
Let’s say Navajo Indian meets Mick Jagger eighties pop underground, boom, boom, boom.
Look. Heatherette is like a friend that I’ve had for a long time, but now Pop Luxe is the next level. It’s more wearable and kooky, that magic. I’ve always been able to forecast trends.
This line is very boho chic. It’s going to wow a lot of people. People are always asking us if it will be wearable.
Yeah...we sold thousands at Macy’s! People always thought Heatherette wasn’t tailored or even produced, but we worked really hard making it. It wasn’t the elves!

Where will you sell it?
The high end at Bergdorf’s, and some Bloomingdale’s. We’re also going to go on Home Shopping Network. And a lot of Asia!

What’s your background, Ross?
I get a lot of creativity because my mom is an artist, and my grandfather did Barbra Streisand’s hair for 27 years. They had a falling out, but I can’t talk about that. I modeled all over the world. After we started doing this fashion designer thing, it was hard to model in New York because I had to be in five different places at the same time. I was with Q, but I had to leave them to be on more point with this. I still do a lot of jobs for Lacoste and stuff. I’m only 21!

Richie, how old are you now?
I’m 85. I’m like Coca-Cola. I’m a unicorn. 

Do you still keep in touch with Marc Jacobs?
I see him here and there and everywhere, but we don’t talk every day. He’s a friend. Tommy Hilfiger, his brother Andy, and Nicole Miller have really been my mentors. And of course, Pat Field and David LaChapelle. I feel gifted that people were nice enough to be cool. 

At one point in time, Heatherette was one of the toughest tickets to get during Fashion Week. Is life calmer these days?
I love these questions. I hate being asked, What’s your inspiration? I always say it’s a puddle of water that has oil in it that looks like a rainbow. I saw one the other day, actually. That makes me think of a dress. Anyway, Heatherette wasn’t crazy to me. I had no rules, and I still feel like I have no rules. I never expected Naomi Campbell to walk down my runway, but...

What was that like?
The audience went nuts. I was at her house a month before, dressing her for the MTV Awards and I whispered that if she walked in my show I’d die. When I was a 16-year-old kid, I’d copy her makeup from Italian Vogue! Then she showed up! I didn’t even know she was coming. The next season she and Kelly Osbourne walked. When I moved here in 1993, I never knew I’d be in the Tents one day. I appreciate everything. It’s a big party. That’s what I get off on. I really don’t care about selling a t-shirt. I care about people loving themselves.

Are you a good businessman?
That’s the best question you’ve asked me. I never went to fashion or business school. I went to both of them backwards. I think now I’m better at business. When you’re an artist, as long as you have your finger on pop culture...You finally let business people in to help. It’s getting better.

What do you think of nightlife today?
Richie: The bottle service nonsense is stupid, but people want to dress up and have fun.

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