Wednesday, January 8, 2014

meet a fashion legend ... Hoyt Richards

For 2014 this space will examine “legends” of fashion (past, present, future and eternal)… as part of my expanding view of the world of fashion. Today it’s all about Hoyt Richards; you say you don’t know the name, well fasten your seatbelt as he has been an enduring personality and image in the world of fashion for over 2 decades and is about to make his writing debut in a feature film.
art by Marc-Antoine Coulon


Hoyt started as the all American boy who went to Princeton and was a football star. As luck would have it, that was short lived due to personal injury but the result is a glorious visual diary of one of the greatest male models of the 20th century. In brief, his resume reads Weber, Watson, Avedon, Newton and then Versace, Ralph Lauren, Gianfranco Ferre and Valentino but this is just a wildly abbreviated listing of his substantial credits.


As you will find out today, Hoyt Richards in indeed a rarity as he is just not another pretty face who has come and gone but has endeavored to redefine his career in the world of entertainment as actor/writer/producer. Look for him in the coming days as he offers DUMBBELLS … a term that will never be applied to this multi-talented gentleman who will long be remembered in fashion and will hopefully enjoy that same status in the world of entertainment.


Let’s “hear” what he has to say about a variety of topics…

1-What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?

Probably the eight ply cashmere sweater that I was given by a designer many years ago. It just feels amazing when I wear it and it gets better with time.

2-What is your most sterling trait and what trait do you treasure most in your friendships?

I would like to think it’s my genuineness and optimistic view of life. What you see is what you get. I don’t like to play games or put on facades. In my friendships, I look for integrity, kindness and sincerity.

3-What is your bliss?

One of my favorite quotes from Joseph Campbell is: “Follow your bliss.” For me, that means pursuing my passions and spending quality time with those whom I love.

4-What is your guilty secret?

I love ice cream. I’d eat it every day if I didn’t know it would double my waistline. haha

5-Where is your ideal home?

 I love the tropical lifestyle. My ideal home would be on a white sandy beach – maybe in the Caribbean. It has huge doors and windows so during the day the house would feel open to the sun and salt air.  

6-If you could not be a designer/retailer/etc.: what would you be?

 I think it would be interesting to be a psychotherapist.

7-What is on your bedside table right now?

A candle. A lamp. Some night time eye cream. And a  script I have to read.

8-What do you wear to bed?

 A cotton T-shirt

9-What, if any, book are you reading now or last read?

Right now I’m reading a book called, The Tools: 5 tools to help you find courage, creativity and willpower and inspire you to live life in forward motion by Phil Sturz and Barry Michels. It’s awesome.

10-What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”

The most important thing is to have fun. Show up on time, be professional but remember to not take yourself or the business too seriously. It’s fashion - we’re not curing cancer.  

11-Who or what is your inspiration/style icon?

Probably Cary Grant – he seemed like a cool cat. Elegant and never overstated.

12-What is the best advice you ever received?

To get into therapy. LOL if you don’t get to know yourself and learn how to love and accept yourself (warts and all) then how could you honestly give your heart to another? It all starts with ‘the man in the mirror.’ Once you sort that guy out, life is a lot more fun and vital.

13-In 3 words or less, describe the current state of fashion.

In transition.

14-If you were a retailer; would you wear your own designs or shop in your own store? or where would you shop?

 I would wear my own designs but that’s not all I would wear. Variety is the spice of life. The fun of fashion is having lots of different clothes from different shops or places.

15-If you won a $200,000,000 power ball (lottery), what is the first thing you would buy or do?

I think my first indulgence buy would be to purchase a silver Tesla car. My first humanitarian venture would be to establish and fund a foundation and facility for a Cult Awareness and Recovery Center. Its goal would be to educate, inform and empower all those who have endured and survived a cultic experience. This facility would foster recovery programs for cult victims and provide hope and outstanding services for families and individuals who have lost a loved one to a cult. It would be a resource for knowledge and the study of the mind in effort to expand our understanding of the mind’s susceptibility to influence – both constructive and destructive. Likewise, the center would teach and demonstrate the immense power that the subconscious mind possesses to recover and heal as well as to create the lives we truly want.

16-If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?

 Abraham Lincoln, Dalai Lama, Gandhi, and Napoleon Hill

17-What is your favorite movie /or movie star?

My favorite movie is the first Star Wars film. My favorite actor from the past would be James Stewart and from the present it would be Clint Eastwood. I really admire actor/filmmakers types like George Clooney and Ben Affleck. I think it’s great when you see people who don’t limit their skill sets. 

18-What is the one thing you would change about yourself?

My eyesight. Now that I’m older, it’s such a drag using reading glasses.

19-Whose opinion do you value most and why?

I most value my father’s opinion. He is the most honest person I have ever known.

20-What store or which designer do you most like to shop in or wear?

I think Tom Ford rocks.

21-What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?

 The future is the internet. But I still enjoy snuggling up with a great book in my hands.

22-Do you have a dream collaborator?

 In film, I aspire to work Chris Nolan one day. In fashion, I was beyond spoiled. I truly was fortunate to work with all the best.

23-What is your crowning achievement thus far in your career?

 In fashion, it was my issue of MONDO UOMO. I was given creative control over the editorial section and was able to shoot with my favorite photographers and create sixty pages for one issue. It was an incredible experience. In film, the newest project, DUMBBELLS, (which hits theaters in the US on Jan 10, 2014) because I was able to wear so many hats. I co-wrote the script, starred and produced the project. It’s the first time I’ve taken a film from embryo all the way to birth. Even though it’s been a cumbersome and challenging four-year journey, I don’t regret one day. 

24-What’s your music library like?

 Pretty eclectic. I listen to everything from Frank Sinatra to Eminem.

25-What and where is your favorite meal?

I’m a sucker for Italian food. The meals I’ve had in Italy over the years have been legendary. I love food that is fresh, flavorful and simple

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