Nicole Richie had the "best time ever" on ‘The Simple Life’ – but she doesn’t think the show could be made now.
The fashion designer starred in the reality show with her then-best friend Paris Hilton from 2003 until 2007 and the premise of the program was to get the two wealthy socialites to try out regular jobs, including working at fast food restaurants, being farmhands and cleaning hotel rooms as maids.
Nicole has no regrets about making the series with Paris and thinks that ‘The Simple Life’ along with other shows such as ‘The Osbournes’ and ‘Real World’ paved the way for reality to become its own television genre.
In an interview with Prestige Hong Kong magazine, she said: "I was 20 years old and I had the best time ever. The only other reality shows were ‘Real World’ and ‘The Osbournes’, so there was no precedent of what this was going to be. That show took us out of our reality for 30 days. It didn’t focus on our lives here. I’ve always been able to maintain a level of privacy because there has never been that focus on our lives here. The concept was to put us in a different state or environment. We were young. We had fun. We didn’t know where we were going. That show probably wouldn’t exist now."
Since turning her back on reality TV and the fame game, Nicole has worked as a fashion designer, creating her own label House of Harlow 1960 – named after her eight-year-old daughter Harlow.
The 35-year-old star – who also has seven-year-old son Sparrow with her husband, Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden – insists she always had creative ambitions.
Nicole – whose adoptive dad is Lionel Richie – began her fashion empire with jewelry designs, but admits she never set out to build such a big business.
She explained: "It was just something I liked doing. I liked having an idea in my head. I would get so frustrated with liking something, and wanting to make it. I remember buying all these velvet ribbons and elephant charms and making chokers for my mom’s friends.
"It would cost me $10 to make them, and I’d sell them for $10. My parents were like, ‘Maybe you need a business partner. You have a lot to work on if you want to make any sort of profit.’ For me, I was just having fun and showing people what I could make."
And the stylish star admits the business side of her company is still not her "passion".
Asked if she’s better at business now, she said: "I hope so, although it’s not my passion at all. It’s definitely an effort for me. My husband is much better at all that. I’m fine with that. That’s what a beautiful collaboration is – finding people who have strengths where your weaknesses are."