Exclusive: Why Sofia Richie Is Fashion’s Next Big Thing
There’s a new crop of cool kids—a group of fresh-faced teens stepping out of the shadow of their famous families and into their own spotlight—taking over LA. Running in that circle, alongside the likes of the Jenner sisters, Gigi Hadid, and Hailey Baldwin, is this generation’s new It-girl, Sofia Richie. With her sister Nicole’s carefree sense of style and a music career in the making, Richie finds herself at the corner of modern muse and next big thing. On the set of our October fashion shoot, creative directed by Nicole Richie, we chatted with the 16-year-old about finding her style, her jewelry obsession, and what’s next
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PHOTO: Justin Coit
Richie shares more than just great style with her older sister. Her smart sense of humor is on full display on the VH1 series Candidly Nicole, acting as the perfect foil to sister Nicole’s antics with her deadpan comments, sharp wit, and down-to-earth sensibilities. However, it’s the teen’s wise-beyond-her-years approach to fashion off-screen that piqued our interest. At an age when most girls are still finding themselves, Richie is completely self-aware, learning early on the importance of just being you. “[Nicole] told me not to care about what other people think, just dress how you want to dress,” she says. Describing her personal style as “grunge-y, preppy, and classic,” Richie sticks to a simple day-to-day uniform consisting of the basics: a t-shirt, skinny jeans, boots, and a cool jacket. “I don’t really like to do the whole big thing every day,” she says.
But Richie wasn’t always so savvy in the fashion department. “It actually happened recently, like three years ago,” she laughed. “I always envied my sister and wanted to look like her and do everything that she did, so I started to dress like her, and that’s when I realized what fashion was.” The perk of having a stylish older sister is not lost on Richie, admitting to us she raids Nicole’s closet all the time. But Nicole isn’t the only one in the family teaching Sofia style lessons. “In The Commodores, my dad (Lionel Richie) wore sparkles and spikes, and I learned just don’t combine them, don’t even go there,” she says. “It’s one or the other.”
Following in her father’s footsteps, Richie is hard at work on a music career of her own. “I’m in the studio a lot, so that’s something to look forward to.” Curious about Richie’s own musical influences, we found out she has everyone from Travis Scott to Rihanna and Sam Smith on rotation in her playlist. “I just saw [Smith] at the Greek in LA. He is so talented, it’s insane.”
Candidly appearances and singing career aside, Richie is just like any normal teenager, one who must abide to a strict school schedule and spends most of her free time on Tumblr and Instagram. “I follow a lot of jewelry brands. I’m obsessed with jewelry, so I love following different lines.” Sitting next to Richie, you can’t help but notice her collection of baubles, a delicate mix of Jacquie Aiche and Cartier, among other chic finds. “I wear these Cartier Love Bracelets ($6600), which I never take off, and I love rings; I stack rings all day.”
While Richie was open to a new look for today’s story, complete with striking prints and rich textures, there are certain trends that are off-limits for the up-and-comer. When asked about her fashion fears, Richie was quick to reply, “I don’t like high-waisted shorts with super crop tops. It freaks me out, because there is so much skin happening. You might as well wear a bathing suit.”
Credits: Proenza Schouler Flocked Woodgrain Dress ($2450) in Teal Aqua Multi; Topshop Ribbed Glitter Ankle Socks ($6) in Blue; Sethi Couture Prong Set Rhodium and Brown Diamond Stack Ring ($1625, 310.395.6706) and Prong Set Rhodium and White Diamond Stack Ring ($1875, 310.395.6706); Walter Steiger Bedra Ankle Boots ($895, 212.826.7171) in Black Patent
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PHOTO: Justin Coit
As we headed into the evening hours of the shoot, it was clear Richie had all the makings of a muse: gorgeous features accompanied by an unapologetic coolness. Time will only tell what’s in store for the tastemaker, but in the midst of her breakthrough year, the future looks bright indeed!