LOS ANGELES — Nicole Richie has a new baby and a new contemporary women’s clothing line.
The label, Winter Kate, which will debut in spring, expands a fashion business that already includes the accessories line House of Harlow 1960 and a maternity collection, Nicole for A Pea in the Pod.
This story first appeared in the October 22, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The 37-piece Winter Kate line, which takes her daughter Harlow’s two middle names, will hit stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ron Herman, Intermix and Kitson, beginning in February.
“It feels as though I’ve always been working on this collection, but officially I started putting it together in early 2009,” said Richie, who is lying low at home after the birth last month of her son, Sparrow. “I’ve wanted to design a clothing collection for a very long time.”
Richie, who has become known for her eclectic bohemian style with a Sixties and Seventies flair, said she has torn fashion pages out of magazines for years and also draws inspiration from her favorite animals, including peacocks and other birds.
The line includes mostly tops, vests and bed jackets in colorful vintage-inspired silk, crepe and chiffon because these tops are a mainstay of Richie’s own wardrobe.
“I probably wear the same two pairs of jeans every day as the background to a fabulous top,” she said. “Bed jackets are a staple of my wardrobe because they are a gorgeous way to give jeans and a white T-shirt a completely different look.”
Also key for spring dressing are “definitely a beautiful, fun slip dress in a great print and also a leather jacket to turn the romantic day dress into an edgy night-out outfit,” Richie said.
Her collection includes long slip dresses, asymmetrical short dresses, tunics and a kimono-sleeved, maxidress, which are meant to be layered with vests in cotton macramé, suede or silk, or a shrunken leather jacket.
“I purposely made the slip dresses in both solids and prints,” Richie said. “Wear the prints by themselves or with a great vest or jacket and wear the solids as basics to an outfit with many layers.”
Priced from $35 wholesale for a camisole to $110 for a long kimono dress, and as much as $598 for the leather pieces, the line is positioned similarly to her accessory collection, which now includes shoes for spring.
“Fashion should be accessible,” Richie said. “That was my philosophy when designing House of Harlow 1960 and it remains my philosophy for Winter Kate.”
Both lines, she noted, are aimed at the same customer. “She is a woman like me: She does not look at labels; she knows how to mix and match. The pieces can be dressed up, made casual, but most importantly, they provide the wearer a means of self-expression and fun.”