Kyle Richards, star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, can be seen on TV and in the tabloids week in week out, dealing with one controversy after the next: cheating rumors involving her husband, Mauricio, tense confrontations with co-star Carlton Gebbia, a new friendship with Brandi Glanville and, most notably, drama with her long-time frenemy Lisa Vanderpump.
But Richards is moving away from her recognition as a controversial Bravo-lebrity, and is making her foray into the fashion realm with a new clothing line aptly named Kyle by Kyle Richards. The 45-year-old reality star has teamed up with HSN to launch a series of pieces inspired by her own style. The eight-piece collection—which includes jumpsuits, frocks, and moto-jackets that seem straight out of Richards’s closet—will launch February 25. Putting Housewives talk aside, Richards talks about her fashionable childhood, dressing when you have four children, and what’s next on her fashion radar.
Since you opened your store [Richards owns Beverly Hills boutique Kyle by Alene Too] in late 2012, do you think designing was a natural progression for you in terms of a career in the fashion industry?
Yeah, I do. I have always loved clothing and fashion and it was just a natural progression, with opening the store and now this. When I opened my store, people would always ask, “Do you have your own line?” So it’s really exciting to give this line to people that’s affordable, beautiful and comfortable.
Did you grow up with an eye for style?
Yeah, I think so. I mean, I grew up in a house that was all women, so it was a big part of our lives; like playing dress up. Being the youngest of Kathy [Hilton] and Kim [Richards], I’d watch them and how they’d dress, and then find my own style and what works for me. It was really trial and error and just playing. I’ve always loved to have fun with fashion and try different things.
Where did you pull inspiration from for the HSN collection?
Well, people will always say—or tweet me pictures and write—“I’m channeling you today” or, “I’ve got my Kyle look going on.” And it’s always a very specific look. Some people call it boho-chic, but I don’t really see it like that. I feel like it looks more like relaxed glamour. I would look back at what was chic in the sixties—I like those flowy arms and sleeves and things that are romantic and comfortable, but flattering on a woman’s body.
Were there certain colors that you were looking to include?
I love blue, I think blue looks beautiful on blondes, brunettes, and redheads. So i chose colors that I thought would look good on everybody.
Do you think being a mom came into play when designing these pieces? Do you want your clothes to be chic, but still comfortable and practical?
Absolutely. I have to be comfortable, and I’ve noticed that two of my daughters are the same way. They will not wear something that is not comfortable. I suffer enough with my high heels, being petite I always wear heels, I just cannot be uncomfortable in my clothing. So that was something that was really important to me. You know, I’m not a stick. A lot of the girls [on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills] are, you know, six feet tall and one hundred pounds. I’m not, I’ve had four kids. I try hard, I work out and try to eat right, but I wanted things that were flattering on a real woman’s body and comfortable at the same time. Like, you know my jumpsuit?
All of my friends want this jumpsuit. Every single one of them. I’ve worn this jumpsuit when I’m at home entertaining, because it really feels like a pair of pajamas. And I’ve worn it on the Arsenio Hall Show in blue, and then I just wore it in black to a red carpet. You really can wear it both ways. And it’s $79.99. So it’s a perfect example—and you can put accessories with it—it’s really one of my favorite things. I love that all of my friends are wanting this so they can feel comfortable and elegant.
Have you showed the clothes to your co-stars? How have they reacted?
Well, when I’ve done talk shows and stuff, they’ve seen it.
I think you should do accessories.
I know, everybody is asking about accessories! I’m asked all the time about handbags and sunglasses. I would really love to do that. Because that’s the kind of thing, you know, when you’re not feeling great about your body or not feeling the best, you always love to have the best sunglasses and handbags around. Sunglasses and lip gloss, those are my go-to’s when I’m not feeling great.
This interview has been edited and condensed.