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ICONIC - The Style Evolution Of Nicole Richie

Posted on 19 September 2015

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Whether you like her or not, Nicole Richie has been on the fashion radar for well over a decade. She has gone from Lionel Richie’s adopted princess, partying socialite, dedicated mother, to a strong inspirational woman. Blessed now with the titles of reality show TV star, author, mother, the face behind a jewellery and handbag line and well respected fashion icon - we look back at the hits and misses of Nicole Richie over the years that make this style icon who she is today.

The glamour queen first appeared in the celebrity circuit at the side of her father, Lionel Richie. Adopted into the family when she was 9, Lionel’s little princess attended Montclair College Prepatory School where she rubbed shoulders with fellow fashionista, Kourtney Kardashian. Although growing up in the public eye may seem like a curse, she lived a glamorous life, with Nicole admitting that her new parents would say ‘yes’ to anything she wanted. But even with her privileged lifestyle, her fashion at the time mirrored most adolescent teens. Her style of choice? A classic 90’s haircut and braces! Check out this throwback of Nicole and Kim Kardashian.

Who knew these two would become two of the most talked about celebrities of today!



2003 marked the year that Nicole became a household name. “The Simple Life” premiered, featuring Nicole and her then bestie, socialite Paris Hilton. The TV series was a comedic take on the lives of the rich and famous. Dressed like bimbo barbies, the two blondes were thrown into numerous situations where they were forced to struggle without the home comforts of Hollywood life. The comedic value proved a hit, with the show continuing for five seasons. Both girls shot to superstardom overnight. Denim mini skirts, pink slips and anything ‘barbie-like’ were the staples of the shows style. Check out these promo photos of Paris and Nicole from back in the day. TheSimpleLIfe


Pantiless parties, drunken DUI’s and Saturday shenanigans - there was a time in Hollywood when you couldn’t turn on the TV or open a magazine without Nicole, Paris, Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan stealing the front page. It was the age of celebrity meltdowns and partying, and Nicole was at the centre of it all. Black and blonde streaked hair, shimmering fake tan and trashy club wear, we can all find a bit of our own party animal in this era of Nicole. Saturday selfie anyone? 

Paris Hilton Nicky Hilton and Nicole Richie visit the Prive Nightclub in 2004 in Miami Beach


As ‘The Simple Life’ cancelled it’s sixth season and Nicole split from her bestie, she began to evolve as an individual. Her style, like the Olsen Twins at the time, evolved into effortless loose maxi dresses, oversized sunglasses, and careful accessorising. Her thin frame was highlighted over these years, and with the release of her first book “The Truth About Diamonds”, her media exposure began to see her as a fashion icon rather than the reality TV star she was formerly known as. It was the birth of the iconic fashion icon she was destined to be.

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In the years following, Nicole grounded herself when she began dating Good Charlotte’s lead singer, Joel Madden. She also released her own jewellery and accessory line “House Of Harlow”. Her style began to evolve into a more mature look, highlighted by her own promotion of her jewellery. This look has become one of her most iconic over the years.

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In 2008, Nicole welcomed her daughter, Harlow Winter Kate Madden, into the world and her son Sparrow James Midnight Madden a year later. Settling into family life, her style reflected a doting mother with a strong sense of style. Quirky, yet fun. We love these Richie-Madden family photos.


Full recognition of Nicole’s style was found in 2010 when she became fashion’s cover girl, with a ‘Bazaar’ magazine cover. She began to be taken seriously, and was named “Entrepreneur of the year” for House of Harlow, followed shortly by the release of her handbag collection. She opted for a shorter haircut which has stuck with her over the last few years, giving her look a more modern twist, and became known for experimenting with textured and patterned fabrics.


Last year, Nicole stepped back into the world of reality TV with her own show, “Candidly Nicole”. The show, which ran for 8 episodes, with talks of more in the future, portrayed both Nicole’s quirky attitude, sense of humour and her fashion, in a comedic insight to her everyday life. 2014 was the year of experimentation, with Nicole dying her hair lilac. Although she has claimed that she only dyed her hair because her children liked it, the blue and lilac shades that she opts between have made her even more iconic. Nicole now moves between corporate couture and her signature effortless looks, but we never get bored of watching her evolve!

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So what’s next for Nicole Richie? Whether it’s bimbo barbie, boho chic, pastel hair or corporate combos - it’s clear that Nicole has come a long way since her teenage style days. She may always be controversial and a risk taker, but we can’t wait to see what this fashionista surprises us with next!

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