Adding to her ever-growing fashion empire, Nicole Richie introduces handbags to her House of Harlow 1960 collection this season. We talked with the designer about the evolution of her HoH and Winter Kate labels, as well as the inspiration behind the current collection.
Shopbop: You launched House of Harlow 1960 in 2009, and since then, the brand has grown to include shoes, sunglasses, and now handbags. Tell us a little about how this evolution unfolded. Was it a natural progression?
Nicole Richie: I’ve always envisioned it to be a lifestyle brand, so all the categories that we’ve launched into were always a part of the initial equation.
SB: How would you describe House of Harlow 1960 and Winter Kate to someone who is unfamiliar with the brands?
NR: The collections are for the multitaskers who want to look effortless and who want fashion to actually be easy and comfortable.
SB: How do the two brands complement each other?
NR: They both have the central focuses of being fun, effortless, and comfortable.
SB: The names of both of your labels—House of Harlow 1960 and Winter Kate—come from a personal place, your daughter’s name. For you, how personal is the design process and its final result?
NR: I am a part of the entire process from sourcing fabrics, draping silhouettes, and selecting the color palette for the season to selling, merchandising, and shooting the lookbook. I need to be involved in every aspect of the business—this is how I can learn and grow.
SB: Tell us about the inspiration behind the fall collections. What sources did you draw from?
NR: The Winter Kate fall 2011 collection was inspired by style icons of the late ’60s and early ’70s, such as Penelope Tree, Peggy Moffitt, and Edie Sedgwick, incorporating a mod twist, while continuing to stay true to the collection’s signature style.
The root of the House of Harlow 1960 identity lies within its easy, relaxed, and bohemian vibe, which is exactly where the inspiration for the fall handbag collection was drawn from. The concept is based around playing with the juxtaposition of casual and luxury. Taking “casual,” soft-draping vintage leathers and mixing with “luxe” materials like haircalf.
Check out the new House of Harlow 1960 handbags, just launched on Shopbop.