It’s 10:00 a.m. on a Thursday and we’re knocking on the door of the wrong apartment, while trying to reach our oh-so-late hair and makeup team—mishaps that were already foreboding a difficult day. Any subject would’ve been exasperated by the turn of events. Not Samantha Richelle.
She greets us in workout clothes (a shirt rolled up and knotted at the back to reveal her toned tummy, a pair of leggings, and trainers) and gamely offers to do her own makeup as she tousles her hair.
Is she easy on the eyes? Yes, but it’s her cool and effortless vibe that keeps one enthralled. While most of us would look like a bad 90’s throwback in baggy jeans and a loose T-shirt, she looks as alluring and comfortable in them as she does in thigh-high boots, a body-skimming dress, and a wide brimmed hat.
30 minutes later (with short breaks to keep the rest of us entertained with tunes from her laptop and ensure we had everything we needed), she’s dressed and made up for the shoot.
Watch the video below and read on to know what puts her in a good mood, what she collects, and more.
What keeps you busy these days?
My family, supporting the boys and their football, of course, and travel! I think it’s so important to travel as often as we can. I absolutely love taking my son on trips and watching him learn new things with new experiences.
And of course, I’ve been busy with my ready-to-wear brand (my label Samantha Richelle) that I’ve launched at the beginning of this year.
What’s your usual day like?
I get my son up and ready for school then I try to always start my day off with a workout before heading to my studio. That’s a typical working day, but, thankfully, I don’t have a heavy routine.
Would you have any rituals or habits to put you in a good mood?
I always put out incense all around the house. I love good oud perfume scents at home, in the morning, in the evening, and definitely while I’m getting ready. Also, there always needs to be some sort of noise in the background, whether it’s music or something from the TV. Usually, it’s a Spotify playlist playing, surrounding the house.
What’s one thing people don’t really know about you?
I think that I am slightly OCD and a bit ADD.
Describe your personal style.
I don’t think I have a personal style. It often changes depending on my mood. At the end of the day, I think it’s always about comfort though. I feel like that’s when my clothes look better. I do like to try different looks, but there’s always a balance—never too much of one thing, because, otherwise, it can be too put-together and the outfit turns into a costume.
Whose style influences your dress sense? Why?
I think its in-between my old family albums with my mom and her endless cool outfits in the late 80’s / early 90’s, as well as the trends you see on the streets today. I love mixing opposites together: old with new, contrasting styles, prints, fashion eras.
What is the oldest and dearest item in your closet?
My small collection of my dad’s old polo team jackets.
Is there any item in particular which you collect? What is it and why?
My favorite art subjects were always people. I would always imagine who they are and build their character around them.
Do you have any style rule that helps you in putting an outfit together?
Always never have too much of one thing, and don’t show too much of everything. There must always be a balance.
Have you ever worn anything that you wished you thought twice about?
Yes! So many to count!!! But one I really can’t believe I wore for almost a good year was the bandana! I had different colors too for my head for different outfits!
What’s one fashion trend you’ve always wanted to try ?
I think I’ve tried them all. Anything I wanted to do or try out, I think I did.
What’s your current statement piece?
Definitely a good belt and buckle.
Is there any accessory or style piece that you’re never caught without?
A watch. I am always wearing a watch; I feel naked without one. Even if my watch is ancient and vintage and doesn’t work but still looks good, I’ll will wear it for the look.
What’s next on your shopping wish list?
One of the neon duffle bags that Virgil Abloh designed for the Fall/Winter ‘19 menswear collection of Louis Vuitton. I’ve been looking for the perfect big bag that would fit everything I would need on a busy day; and I think that’s it.
ON HER FASHION LABEL
What made you decide to create your own fashion brand?
It started off with me interested in pursuing fine arts. My favorite art subjects were always people. I would always imagine who they are and build their character around them. Which meant the fun part would be building their style and imagining what the character would wear. I would doodle people in class, and elaborate most of the time on their clothes.
I was always interested in fashion because of my mom. I was surrounded by it so from that, it turned into a passion of mine to build a “fashion house.” My dream is to be able to do it all eventually.
I even just started off working with a seamstress in LA after school and having her just make clothes for me. People would always ask about it, so from there I really found that I could turn it into something bigger.
What’s next for you and your brand?
Our plan is to be working with retailers internationally and eventually, locally as opposed to just being available on our own online platform. We are in initial talks with other companies to collaborate with. I don’t want to say too much, but I’m hoping you see more from us from here on out.
Fashion brands: Right now, Balenciaga for their denim and cool shirts; Alexander McQueen for their jackets and accessories, and Stella McCartney for their cool and loose-fitting pieces.
Artists/ Designers: Dahli, Vladimir Kush, Man Ray, Jackson Pollock, McQueen, Raf Simons, and Versace.
No-fail go-to: My mom’s closet for the best vintage designer clothes. I go in there if I need to throw on a new outfit.
Video and photographs by Jill Fernandez and Carlos Bautista