‘Fashion Star’: Nicole Richie explains joy of mentoring

Richie (l.) is a mentor on the show.

Fashion Star” is two episodes into the season, and on Friday we had the opportunity to talk about someone in a conference call who is familiar both to the worlds of fashion and reality TV — Nicole Richie. Since first becoming a household name on “The Simple Life,” she has since gone on to become a key figure in the celebrity fashion industry and is now helping some aspiring designers to find their own way.

We were ultimately fascinated to hear what the experience was like being a mentor on a show like this, especially as someone who is already familiar with reality TV in a different form.

CarterMatt.com – So is it hard for you on a show like this to not have any favorites, or is that something you really think about?

Nicole Richie – Of course aesthetically everybody is going to have to pick a favorite; I don’t necessarily have to pick a favorite since I’m not a judge, I’m a mentor. I have the utmost respect for all of these designers, as they wouldn’t even be on the show if they weren’t capable of carrying the weight of having collections in all three of these retailers. All 14 of them were very capable, and it was all about helping each one of them get to the best version of themselves.

From a reality TV standpoint, what was it like for you being on a show like this — where you get to spend your time mentoring and helping others — versus a show that focuses more on your own life?

It was a wonderful experience doing it. I wanted to be their friend, as well. When we were in the design studio, I was pretending like I was in a closet asking my friend ‘if I step out into the world, what do I look like?’. Everyone wants that honest friend before they go to dinner or go to the event.

I took that role seriously of being their friend — giving them the good, the bad, and the ugly — but not in a mean and judge-y way, but just trying to be their friend. We all kind of had that relationship, and it was totally fine for me to give my honest opinion. Sometimes they took it, and sometimes they wouldn’t, but we all had fun with the process and that was the most important thing.

New episodes of “Fashion Star” will continue airing on NBC Tuesday nights at 10:00 p.m.

Photo: NBC

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