My travels and travails took me to Miami, so I missed what must have been the very amusing A*MUSE fashion show, where former Heatherette designer Richie Rich debuted his latest collection. The event featured my favorite PETA player Pamela Anderson, along with Terrell Owens, CariDee English, Tinsley Mortimer and Amanda Lepore. I was also told that Richie and Pamela also debuted their new single “Hi” for the grand finale of the “Hot for Teacher” themed fashion show.
From the press release:
“A*MUSE’s collaboration with Pamela Anderson will offer animal-friendly and 100% organic styles, including: bathing suits, casual dresses and beachwear. This season the label will also be introducing graphic printed tees and zip up hooded sweatshirts, featuring images of Pamela Anderson and designer Richie Rich. Richie knew from the beginning that the first muse for this collection had to be his long-time friend, Pamela Anderson. “Pam has long been a source of inspiration to me, she has this amazing combination of the sweet girl next door but in the most glamorous of ways — I love her lust for life!” Richie describes the A*MUSE collection inspired by Anderson as, “fun, sexy, surfer girl from Malibu meets Andy Warhol.”
Richie Rich has often been described as an original Club Kid. I was there, so to deny him the prestige that goes with that moniker would be unfair. It would be equally unfair to characterize him as one of Michael Alig’s minions, or imply that he was part of the seedy side of that lifestyle. It’s not that he wasn’t having fun– Richie was just always his own “kid’. His association was artistic, he pushed boundaries without pushing anyone over a cliff. While some Club Kids consider the club years their most defining, Richie continues to create a more fabulous story.
In 1996, when I was doing my thing at the Tunnel, I collaborated with PETA’s Senior Vice President Dan Mathews and banned fur from the fabulous club. Tunnel was the best joint in town and arguably one of the best joints of all time. To his credit, Tunnel owner Peter Gatien fully supported my idea to bar entry to anyone wearing a fur coat. We wanted to make a statement that fur was not trendy or cool and we stuck to our dress code. Many famous people were forced to put their dead animal in their limo, or were denied entry. Although some revenue was lost, it was assumed that the money was recouped by the media storm that ensued. Whenever we turned down a fur-draped celebrity it made Page Six. Kim Basinger posed as our PETA model and we plastered Manhattan with posters bearing our message. We were committed to a good cause and I think we actually came out ahead, financially. Dominique Swain later replaced Kim and finally Pamela Anderson became our poster girl. I did an event with Pamela at Life and was incredibly impressed by her incredible professionalism, dedication and friendliness to all. My dog Arturo, who growls and snips at all humans, played with her for hours. Pamela continues to support the rights our friends who cannot speak for themselves. I caught up with her while she was at her Malibu home.
How did you and Richie Rich meet and what to do you love about each other? We’ve known each other for a long time. We met through David LaChapelle and Amanda Lepore, as well as many other mutual friends. We are like a little circus of misfits living little wild lives that just fit together and are somehow complementary, peaceful and inspiring. It’s good just knowing that we have each other. I love Richie’s sense of fun and art. He’s great with a glue gun and spray paint. He’s just altogether multitalented!
Tell me about your long standing relationship with PETA and how you feel it affects your overall image. Is it positive? Does it matter to you if it is? I think PETA is very positive and has accentuated my image. It doesn’t matter if It’s good or bad if it gets people talking and caring about important things. It’s a “now that I have your attention” kind of thing. (PETA) are smart, funny, good-hearted people who love animals. It’s a social experiment and it’s amazing what gets people’s attention, but that’s part of the challenge and the balance. I just think PETA is perfect, I love them with all my heart. Stop the seal hunt please! It’s just barbaric. What would the world do if we didn’t have PETA, can you imagine?
What about Richie’s brand excites you? I love the glitz, the glamour, the fun and the pop art element. He’s such a talent. Richie is the calm in the storm. Crowds make me uneasy and he just roller skates right through them, gluing lashes on people, drinking bubbles and pinning the models into their barely-there clothes. Everyone has such a great time, the shows are like rock concerts. It’s still hard to believe It’s a business. A*MUSE is extreme fashion like surfing, skating or snowboarding. I don’t know, it just feels edgy and a little bit like we’re getting in trouble. It’s not as fashion-y as we should be, so I’m the perfect girl for him. I really don’t like clothes, but I love to sparkle!