“4 Stroke was a brand new company and they were just starting out and they were looking for somebody that was just starting out as well, and it just so happened to be me!”
So explained fashion-rock progeny Theodora Richards
(daughter of model Patti Hansen and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards) on
how she came to be Vice President of Creative Direction for the New York based “music
inspired” premium denim label, 4 Stroke Jeans.
So explained fashion-rock progeny Theodora Richards (daughter of model Patti Hansen and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards) on how she came to be Vice President of Creative Direction for the New York based “music inspired” premium denim label, 4 Stroke Jeans.
“Now I have this title, which is so official sounding, it’s ridiculous,” added the whippet thin, surprisingly grounded blond who has, until recently, been making her living as a model (as does her younger sister, Alexandra). “I’m kind of freaked out by it, but it is incredible and by having that role I’m just so much more vocal with what’s going on with the designs. You know, a lot of [famous] people go and get involved in the business and they just sit back and let everybody else do it for them, but these guys have such a good vision and they really want me to be a part of it, so it’s working out perfectly.”
Not least of which stems from Richards’ long time obsession with all things denim (what, you thought Keef’s kid would be swanning around in diamonds and fur? Not bloody likely.)
“I have always loved jeans,” Richards told The Fashion Informer when we got her on the phone earlier this month. “I used to wear Gap floral leggings, up until, like, seventh grade. But there was this girl in my class and she would just wear denim in the coolest ways – she was the first to wear denim jackets, she sagged her jeans, she Bedazzled things. She made me fall in love with jeans then and I’ve just been trying to carry on the tradition ever since. So yeah, jeans and me, we go together like peanut butter and jelly.”
When not designing denim, Ms. Richards likes to spend her time listening to obscure music, drinking super spicy tea and scanning the skies for NC-17 cloud formations.
What’s your favorite off duty activity?
Well, I’ve been trying to become a part of The Cloud Appreciation Society.
Is that a real thing?
Yes, it is, actually. This eccentric Englishman and his wife have begun this society and you get your number and you send in your pictures of what you’ve seen in the clouds and if it’s a really decent picture, you can have it put in a book. I’ve been trying to get more involved because I do love and appreciate clouds. So that’s my off duty hobby.
I love it. Is there a favorite cloud shape that you’ve seen?
I have seen some pretty amazing things, but some are kind of dirty, so I will leave them to the imagination.
Ok, then. What’s in current rotation on your iPod?
Well, at the moment, I’ve been listening to Jimmy Durante and Otis Redding. Of course, that was just today.
Did Jimmy Durante sing, I thought he was a comedian?
Yeah, he has a few songs. You know, it’s actually really strange, a lot of those old comedians put out a few records. Or, like, Louis Prima, even though he’s a true blue horn player, he did some really funny songs, like ‘what do you think I’m made out of, lasagna?’ Things like that, I love because I love to laugh while I’m listening. And I listen to this [collection] Hello Children Everywhere,which is all of these amazing children’s songs that go from Peter Sellers singing with Sophia Lauren to some really great stuff that’s odd. I wish that I could spread it out to the world. It’s actually a lot of British children’s songs, with a few Americans, like the red head guy, Danny Kaye. I really like tapping into the stuff that nobody’s heard of.
Coffee or tea?
Tea. I live close to Balthazar and they do this amazing really, really gingery tea that kind of burns when it goes down it’s so gingery. And English tea is always great; English breakfast always does it.
Do you have any hidden or unusual talents?
Um, you know, the thing when people can turn their tongues into shapes? I taught myself to do the hotdog, you know, the one you when you fold your tongue like a hot dog. And I can hula-hoop really, really well for a long time. I won a competition at Tortilla Flats.
Tell me about your favorite pair of jeans.
Well, there’s this pair by 4 Stroke called the Clutch that have a really gorgeous layered pocket in the back and a zipper that goes down the back of the shin so you can either have a flair or it can be super tight. I love that jean. And then there’s one called the Roseland, which is a skinny that looks good on every type of woman. We’ve been dying them in these fluorescent colors - they’re gonna come out later on this year - and they’re incredible.
What is your favorite method of communication?
You know, I have to say that I like writing a letter and sending it in the post, but that rarely happens, so…I have a Blackberry and it’s the easiest – and the only - way to get in touch with me these days.
What’s your favorite holiday?
I really like when we’re all together as a family and it seems like Christmas is really the time when everybody gets together. This past Christmas, we had 75 family members in my house in Connecticut and it was amazing. My mom was ecstatic, glowing; she loves when we come home. Everybody’s having babies and, it was really awesome. My mom just redid the kitchen and she just was so excited to show it to everybody. You know, we really enjoy each other’s company.
Tell me about your pets.
Oh, it’s been so funny, the story of animals in our household. We’ve had Pumpkin and Ras, Pumpkin is a shortbread Labrador, blond, and she’s about nine, 10 years old now. Rasputin might be a year younger or a year older, we’re not sure, but we got him from Russia when dad was on tour and he just followed into the stadium where they were performing and this woman who was an avid dog lover, saw that he was being treated badly by the security guards and took him into my father’s room and said please take him home and my dad fell in love with him instantaneously and he’s been with us ever since. He is a little black Terrier Poodle mix - he kind of looks like Toto, with what looks like my dad’s hair on the top [of his head]. He’s small, and he’s amazing, and he loves my dad. We’ve had our cat forever - he’s such a great hunter - and we’ve got two French Bulldogs that are sisters, black and white, and they’re called Etta James, or Etta Bella Cow Pig, and Sugar. So they’re all flourishing, the family and the dogs.
What is your most treasured fashion possession?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I’m really sentimental with jewelry because I don’t really wear it that often. There was this pearl that my dad gave me for my graduation when I was 18 that’s from Japan and it’s like the size of a marble; it’s so beautiful. It’s on clasp so I can turn it into anything, but I wore it as a necklace. I haven’t worn it since my graduation because I’m terrified of losing it, so I let my mother hold onto it.
What was your nickname in childhood and what’s your nickname
What was your nickname in childhood and what’s your nickname now?
It’s always been Theo, everybody just shortens it. And then I’ve been called Teddy and Theodorable, which is so cute and I love it. Coach Reilly gave me that; he was my teacher when I was, like, five years old.
What’s the greatest or most important lesson that your
parents taught you?
Um, treat people the way, you know, not even the way that you’d want to be treated because that’s almost selfish, but…I’ve never been judged by my parents and I will never judge another. So I think they taught me that, and then manners are always fantastic, so I definitely thank them for teaching me my skills and politeness. And respect. You know, just being a good person, really. They’ve been so wonderful. I hope that I can do this for my kids.
Theodora and Alexandra vs. Mary Kate and Ashley: who would
win in a fight?
Oh God, I think that anybody would say me and Alexandra, just because those girls are tiny.
What never fails to make you cry?
Dumbo, “Baby Mine.” When I hear that song.
When are you happiest?
When I am around my family, definitely, in the sunshine.
Stay tuned next week for Random Questions For…Duckie Brown.