The Untold Truth Of Sofia Richie

Sofia Richie may not be the person you first think of when you hear the name Richie. Instead, you probably think of musician Lionel Richie or reality TV star and fashion designer Nicole Richie, but that's all about to change. Lionel's daughter and Nicole's little sister, Sofia Richie, is finally coming into her own, and she has made quite the splash. She's been slowly taking over the fashion world as a model and a blossoming fashion designer, but she has become even more widely known for her controversial relationship with Kourtney Kardashian's ex Scott Disick, whom she has been dating since September 2017, when they made their relationship Instagram official

The relationship understandably caught the public's attention as Richie was 19 at the time and Disick was 34. But there's a lot more to Richie than being part of a famous couple. The model and designer has also proven that she's an intelligent and talented young woman who is determined to live life on her terms.

Sofia Richie grew up famous

Born on Aug. 4, 1998, Sofia Richie had a childhood that was far from typical. Not only did she grow up in the shadow of her dad, music superstar Lionel Richie, but she also grew up in the shadow of her adopted sister, Nicole Richie. This meant that the young Richie matured while rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous. Family friends included Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and Pharrell Williams.

Growing up in the limelight had its perks, but it also made Richie a target. She told the Evening Standard that paparazzi have stalked her and someone even went so far as to put a tracker on her car. "There is a negative side to everything, but I don't let that get to me," said the model, adding that she is used to the attention. "I didn't know anything different." She added, "There are people all over my dad all the time. Dinners out are dinner/meet and greets. Everyone in the restaurant will come over, there's paparazzi everywhere."

Sofia Richie's faith keeps her grounded

In spite of the fact that Sofia Richie grew up in a celebrity family, her parents clearly made an effort to keep her grounded. Part of making sure their daughter had a (relatively) normal upbringing was making sure that she went to church and that she was raised in a Christian environment. She spent two years at a Christian school, Oaks Christian. "I went there for two years, and that's where I got my sense," the model told Complex. "My family wanted church to be a place where we all went together. My dad was always traveling and my mom was always working. School is where I did Bible classes and studied God."

Her religious upbringing left a profound impact on her life. Richie remains rooted in her faith, saying that it is not just her "main ground" but also "the most interesting thing in my life."

Sofia Richie and her mom are pretty tight

If you're having trouble keeping track of Sofia Richie's family tree, we can't blame you. Her dad, Lionel Richie, was still married to first wife Brenda Harvey, when he began seeing Richie's mom, Diane Alexander. Harvey and Lionel ended up divorcing, and the singer married Alexander in 1996. The couple had two kids together —  Richie and her brother, Miles — before divorcing in 2004. Miles and Richie are both Lionel's biological children while his oldest daughter, Nicole Richie, was adopted while he was married to Harvey. 

It's a complicated family, but that hasn't impacted the bond Richie has with her parents. Richie is super close with her mom. Alexander is also a fashion designer, and the two were able to bond over their mutual love for fashion. "I spent pretty much every minute of my life with my mom," the model told Complex. Alexander is still clearly very involved in her daughter's life. While Alexander hasn't publicly commented on Richie's relationship with Scott Disick at the time of this writing, Richie has been seen bringing her mother to visit her much older boyfriend.

Sofia Richie's dad laid down the law when she was growing up

As Sofia Richie is the youngest child in her immediate family, you might expect things to have been easy on her growing up, but that's not exactly true. There's a 17-year age gap between Richie and her oldest sibling, Nicole, and Nicole's troublemaking younger years set the stage for Richie's own upbringing. "My dad is more strict because of my sister," Richie told Elle back in 2014. "I feel like now he's on the preventative side — it's not like I'm doing anything bad, but he went through all that with Nicole, so he's just strict to prevent it from happening again."

Richie's mom and dad both made sure that she developed a strong work ethic, and Richie had to earn her allowance by doing chores. Richie told the Evening Standard that her dad was always quick to remind his children of their privileged upbringing. "He grew up in a small house and they didn't have much, so he is like, 'You guys are way more blessed than I was,'" said Richie.

Sofia Richie is BFFs with Kylie Jenner

Sofia Richie has some pretty famous pals. She can count Kyra Kennedy (great-niece of former U.S. president John F. Kennedy), Paris Jackson (daughter of Michael Jackson), Kylie Jenner, and Kendall Jenner among her circle of friends. Richie's relationship with the Jenner girls hasn't always been smooth sailing, though. Kendall reportedly didn't approve when her childhood friend began dating Scott Disick, commenting, "Awww Scott and his kids," on a now-deleted photo of Disick with his children and Richie in 2018 (via People).

However, their rift seems to have been patched up since then, and Richie has again been hanging out with the Jenner girls, although it seems like she's much closer to Kylie than Kendall. The Jenner sisters and Richie attended the party of a mutual friend in June 2019, and Kylie posted a video on her Instagram story of the three women getting ready together (via Entertainment Tonight). Kylie is more likely to be featured on Richie's own Instagram feed than Kendall, as well, and her bond with Richie is seen as proof that the Kardashian clan is starting to accept Richie's relationship with Disick, as noted by Us Weekly.

Does Sofia Richie's dad approve of her relationship with Scott Disick?

Sofia Richie's dad, Lionel Richie, isn't too thrilled that his youngest daughter is dating Scott Disick. Disick and Richie might not think the 16-year age gap between them is a big deal, but it's clear that Lionel has other ideas. "She's 19," the singer told The Daily Telegraph (via People) in 2018. "When you're 19 you know everything. Is it going to be for life? I don't know. But for right now it's just a phase and I'm going to stand real still in the corner, get me a good drink and not make too much noise."

Lionel made it clear, though, that he doesn't think Disick is a bad guy, although he doesn't know him very well. "I don't really know what to think," he said. "I told Sofia I will have no opinion. I'll continue to be my cheerful self and move on."

Sofia Richie is a tomboy at heart

Even though Sofia Richie is now known as an ultra chic fashionista, she hasn't always been quite so glam, at least not all the time. The model revealed her tomboyish side in an interview with Complex. "I was the most reckless little kid," she said. "I only had guy friends. I had a Nintendo and, when I went to normal school, I used to tape it under my desk and then pull it out and play on it."

Richie spent much of her early life as an athlete, competing on an elite soccer team well into her teenage years. At the age of 16, her athletic career came to a halt when she broke her hip in a Segway accident. Her soccer days may have come to an end, but her modeling career was already off to a promising start by this point so Richie was able to focus on her future.

Working in fashion has been Sofia Richie's lifelong dream

Sofia Richie's fashionista roots run deep. Being an icon in the fashion industry is something that the young model and fashion designer has dreamed about since she was a little girl. She told PopSugar that she fell in love with fashion at first sight. "I think it was my first fashion week — I can't even remember which show it was, but I saw the designer come out the end I was like 'That's so cool. That he made all of that and showed it and now it's coming out.' I was like, 'I wanna do that.'"

Richie didn't have to wait too long to make her dreams come true. She made her modeling debut in Teen Vogue at the age of 14 in 2012, and, by 15, she had landed her first modeling contract with swimwear company Mary Grace Swim (via HuffPost).

Sofia Richie's sister, Nicole, is her style inspiration

When it comes to fashion, Sofia Richie grew up with a pretty good role model. In 2018, Richie told PopSugar that her big sis, Nicole, is her fashion inspiration. The older designer, who launched her line House of Harlow 1960 in 2008, gave Richie what she says is the most important piece of fashion-related advice she's ever gotten: "Have fun and don't take yourself too seriously."

Before she was a fashion designer herself, Richie was raiding Nicole's closet and dreaming of launching her own fashion line. "Nicole is definitely my style icon, and she's the best person to go shopping with," Richie told Teen Vogue in 2012. "She's really honest. Other people are afraid to hurt your feelings, so they'll tell you something's cute when it isn't, but she'll be like, 'No, discard that.'" 

Being the younger sister of a fashion icon comes with a lot of pressure, though. "I don't feel like we'll ever be equals," Richie told Elle in 2014.

Paris Hilton thinks of Sofia Richie as a little sister

In addition to Nicole Richie, Sofia Richie has another big sis in Nicole's one-time BFF Paris Hilton. Nicole's Simple Life co-star has taken Richie under her wing since she was a little girl. "She is so amazing. I love her," Hilton told Us Weekly about Richie. "She's like my little sister. I've known her since she was born and now to see her grow up into this amazing, beautiful woman. She's so mature and has such a good head on her shoulders."

Hilton extolled Richie's talents, adding, "She literally has such great style. She doesn't even need fashion advice. She gets it. She's like this fashionista. It's so fun."

The sisterly love is mutual. Richie has said that she admires Hilton and looks up to her, telling Wonderland that the famous heiress is one of her closest friends. "It's really nice to have her kind of, as like a sister, because she's been through it all and she gives the best advice and she wants the best for me and she sees how my path is going," said Richie.

Music was Sofia Richie's first love

Fashion may be Sofia Richie's passion, but it wasn't her first love. The model originally planned to follow in her father's footsteps and pursue a career in music. It's clear that she's Lionel Richie's daughter — the model has some seriously impressive pipes and is also a skilled pianist. Richie studied music for years and has written her own songs, as noted by Teen Vogue, but it might be a while before we see her release her own album.

"I wanted to have a music career for a long time," Richie told Complex. "Music is my life and it speaks to me ... But I don't want my own music career. I'm Lionel Richie's daughter. When I do this I have to be 100 percent good, and it was too much pressure for me." She continued, "I just want to have my own direction and be free with it. I don't want anyone to have a hold on me because of my dad."

Sofia Richie has spoken out against racism

Sofia Richie's light skin and light hair mean that, in spite of her famous last name, the world often forgets that she's a person of color. While her mother, Diane Alexander, is white, her father, Lionel Richie, is black, making Richie biracial. Richie is light skinned and often passes as white, but she's very much aware of her roots. She told Complex that, while she herself hasn't been a target of racism, she's seen just how pervasive racial discrimination can be.

"I'm very light, so some people don't really know that I'm black," said the model. "I've been in situations where people will say something kind of racist and I'll step in and they'll be like, 'Oh, well, you're light,'" she told the magazine. "That still doesn't cut it, buddy. It's 2016 — you better get your s*** together before you get slapped out here."

Sofia Richie's fashion line

Sofia Richie dreamed of starting her own fashion line since she was a little girl. She finally achieved her dream, announcing her label, Sofia Stone, in April 2019. "I finally feel like I'm at the point in my life where I have so many creative ideas that I want to share and I'm bottled up," the designer told Women's Wear Daily (via Harper's Bazaar). "Over the years, buying so many clothes and seeing what I liked and didn't like and being in the modeling industry, I was around so many designers and I always take notes and tips from them. It came easily and I knew all the little things I wanted and didn't want."

The line features clothes that reflect Richie's personal style with 12 pieces ranging from crop tops to suits. If that sounds like a broad range, it's because Richie herself admits that her style is varied. "Honestly, I can't really pin exactly what I am because I wake up every morning and I decide that I want to be girly or I want to be a tomboy, or I don't know like I'm all over the place," she told Grazia. "But for the most part, I'm comfortable. I think that's an important key factor to me."

Sofia Richie is trying to spread positivity to people

Like many young people and celebs, Sofia Richie is active on social media. This has opened the door to harassment, but Richie doesn't back down. She's well-practiced in dealing with negative attention and won't let the haters deter her from her mission. It's all about good vibes for Richie. She shared one notable incident of harassment with Complex, telling the magazine that a girl commented on one of her Instagram pictures telling the model to "go kill [herself]."

"I just had to say something," said Richie. "I commented back, 'I just want to understand the sadness in your heart.' A lot of people say they know me and my life, but no one really does. ... My whole thing is I'm trying to spread love to everyone. Some people don't see that, but I really am trying to spread positivity to people."

Sofia Richie understands how quickly things can change

The sheer magnitude of Sofia Richie's accomplishments at such a young age is nothing short of impressive. Naysayers might think that her good fortune was made possible through her family connections, but Richie has worked hard to get where she is today. The model is surprised herself at how things have fallen into place for her. "Everything's moving really quickly," she told DuJour in 2017. "The kids that I grew up with in elementary school they all just went off to college this year," Richie revealed. "They literally look at me like I'm an alien, they're like, you are so weird and so not normal. Where did you go left and we went straight? I have no idea."

It's hard to believe that the celeb was already on her way to making history while barely out of her teens and Richie's success is proof of how much hard work and dedication can accomplish.

Sofia Richie keeps her private life private

Given everything that Sofia Richie has experienced between growing up in the limelight surrounded by paparazzi and being harassed on social media, it's not surprising that Richie wants to keep her personal life as free of chaos as possible. That's why the celeb has no immediate plans to appear on upcoming episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, even though her boyfriend, Scott Disick, is featured on the show as the ex of Kourtney Kardashian. Richie told Us Weekly that she isn't against the idea of appearing on the show but that she is "just very private."

She's also careful about how much she posts about her personal life on social media. While fans might catch the occasional glimpse of Richie's life with Disick, the model doesn't bombard her Instagram followers with intimate photos. "I think a lot of people think they have to prove their relationships through social media and I'm just happy being private about my relationship," she told Tatler. "It's not like I won't post pictures about it, but I like having my little private life."