We go one-on-one with the music-minded fashion muse

Forget everything you think you know about Alexandra Richards. Or rather, make room for the unexpected. Sure, the gamine blonde is rock royalty—daughter of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and fashion model, Patti Hansen. And yes, she’s an inherent globetrotter, thanks to her early days touring with her family and her now-blossomed career as a model and DJ. Her style is equally seasoned, a blend of street-chic—think jeans, boots and beanies—and self-described semi-conservative glamour, like the black lace shift she wore to the God’s Love We Deliver benefit in NYC October 2012.

But within the trappings of her famous upbringing, she’s emerged largely unfettered—just as likely to be ornament-making with friends at home as she is spinning at a nightclub. We spent the day with Richards at the Crosby Street Hotel in NYC, where she pieced together looks from our Holiday Collection and talked fashion, gift giving and her big holiday plans.

What are your holiday plans?
Alexandra Richards: Well, typically we do Thanksgiving at home in Connecticut or on Staten Island, and then spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Turks and Caicos. 

That sounds like the perfect getaway.
AR: It’s nice to sneak away and get a tan! Thanksgiving is our big tradition though—the women make all the desserts, my uncle carves the turkey, my cousins make Nobu’s amazing Miso Cod recipe. We have tons of little nieces and nephews running around, all dressed up. It’s a happy time.

When it comes to gift giving, what’s your strategy?
AR: A week or two before Christmas, I get my friends together to make ornaments for our friends and family. We get out paint pens and Styrofoam balls and sequins and make these extraordinary creations, which I’ve collected throughout the years for my own tree. I’ll also look for things year-round that remind me of people in my life and try to save them for this time of year.

And when you’re not traveling, you’re living in Paris?
AR: Paris is sort of a second home to me. I’m doing Van Cleef & Arpels’ jewelry course there. I’ve been drawing and designing my own jewelry for a long time, so it’s nice to pick it back up. Like Michael says, more is more. He has these heavy chain-link bracelets that I really love. I’m a big fan of bangles and statement pieces—it’s an easy way to get dressed up. I love the chunky rings and the long necklaces, too. 


What’s your everyday style?

AR: I’ve been traveling since I can remember. Because of that, I’m always ready to take flight. I can’t really leave the house without jeans, a leather jacket, my motorcycle boots. Black is something I’m constantly traveling with because I can easily throw it on and dress it up with heels. MK has some great heels this season even in trainers—I love the white Skid Wedge Sneaker. It’s so comfy, but gives you that little lift.

You and your sister Theodora are so close. Do you share clothes?

AR: We definitely have different tastes in clothing —she’s more carefree about what she wears and can pull off a lot. I’m more conservative in a way. I like to be sexy-chic, but I know my comfort zone. She gets me all dressed up when we’re getting ready to go out. She inspires me to pop in a little color; put on a bright lip. She’s shown me the ropes. I’ve also learned what not to do by watching my mom and sister. (Laughs.)

Your mother is a fashion legend! 
AR: She’s taught me how to appreciate everyone’s effort on a set. Every time we work together, I learn something new. She’s also taught me about lighting, which is key. After you’ve been modeling a while, you know which angle is best. 

What’s the best advice she’s given you?
AR: No makeup—or very little. As soon as you can wear no makeup, don’t wear makeup. You’ll avoid the breakouts. It does go a long way in the long run.

I’m sure you throw a great party. As a DJ, what’s on the stereo?
AR: I’m obsessed with blues, reggae. I love Robert Johnson, Peter Tosh, Lee Perry. For big events, I love dance and electronic stuff that’s more upbeat, like Hot Chip and Lykke Li. People assume that I listen to nothing but classic rock.

Because of your Dad…
AR: Yes—he’s touring again, which is so exciting! It’s overwhelming and emotional. I’m just looking forward to seeing the new stuff. 

Do you have a favorite new track?
AR: “Doom and Gloom” is amazing.

What are your musts for a holiday bash?
AR: An extra pair of black stockings for my outfit—my little dog, Etta, is always jumping up on me and scratching holes in them. And my family’s famous peach chutney. We sit around and peel my mother’s peaches, then braise them. It’s so good—on everything.

Paris, New York, Connecticut—you’ve spent your year all over the world. Where else can we find you?
AR: Easy. Hawaii. I took a one-way ticket with a friend of mine. We went shark diving, snorkeling, swam with the big turtles. We just camped out on the beach. It was the best.

Discover Alex's exclusive #CelebrateWith Holiday Playlist for Michael Kors.

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