Nicole Richie: Why She's a 'Fashion Star' in Her Own Right (PHOTOS)

Nicole Richie reunites with Jessica Simpson and John Varvatos as celebrity mentors on NBC's reality competition Fashion Star, premiering tomorrow at 8/7c. Richie will continue to offer insight and advice to up-and-coming designers creating looks worthy enough to convince buyers from Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Express to purchase and carry exclusively in their stores. With $3,000,000 on the line, the fashion expert takes her job seriously. Here are five reasons why Richie’s our favorite Fashion Star. 

1. Nicole Richie Fashion Star: Bohemian Vibe

She was born and raised in California, which gives her that effortlessly cool bohemian vibe. Surrounded by creative spirits (her adopted father is Motown hit maker Lionel Richie and her biological father is Mexican American percussionist Peter Michael Escovedo), Richie says she developed an appreciation for fashion at an early age.

2. Nicole Richie Fashion Star: House of Harlow 1960

She launched House of Harlow 1960 in 2008. Debuting on celebrity hotspot, Richie’s 1960s and 70s-inspired jewelry line (named after her daughter) is a favorite amongst Madonna, Vanessa Minnillo and Ashlee Simpson. She’s since expanded to include her signature huge sunglasses, boho handbags, and sexy shoes.

3. Nicole Richie Fashion Star: Winter Kate

She launched Winter Kate, her first clothing collection, in 2009. Finding inspiration in her daughter again (her two middle names), The full-fledged line of bold print, ready-to-wear pieces are available at high-end department stores Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Selfridges, and ShopBop. “Fashion gives you the ability to express yourself, your mood,” Richie said. “It’s a creative outlet in many ways.”

4. Nicole Richie Fashion Star: Bongo Jeans Ad

She was the face of Bongo Jeans and Jimmy Choo. Richie modeled crocheted camisoles and jeans for Bongo’s 2005 ad campaign in the midst of her Simple Life reality show days with then-BFF Paris Hilton. In 2006, Jimmy Choo chose Richie for his spring advertising campaign, which featured jeweled sandals and a leather hobo bag adorned with Swarovski crystals.

5. Nicole Richie Fashion Star: Perfume

She has her own perfume. Nicole by Nicole Richie is a sensual scent with notes of blackberry, Seville orange, Moroccan rose, lily of the valley, sandalwood, sugared patchouli and vanilla. Translation: Heaven in a bottle.

6. Nicole Richie Fashion Star: Glamour Women of the Year Award

She’s won awards for fashion. In 2010, Richie was awarded “Entrepreneur of the Year” for her House of Harlow 1960 and Winter Kate lines at Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards. Her House of Harlow 1960 was also nominated for “Best Celebrity Fashion Line” at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards.

7. Nicole Richie Fashion Star: A Pea in the Pod

She designed a maternity line for A Pea in the Pod. In 2009, Richie joined maternity store A Pea in the Pod to create Nicole, a collection of long flowy paisley-print dresses, modern hippie tops, and solid staples for fashion conscious expectant mothers. Love!

8. Nicole Richie Fashion Star: Richie Madden Children's Foundation

She’s down for the cause. Not only does Richie rock floppy hats like no other, but she’s also a tireless giver. In 2007, Richie, her hubbie Joel Madden, and his twin Benji launched The Richie Madden Children's Foundation, which provides clean water, housing, and education to disadvantaged children around the world.