JZ: Congratulations. The pictures are amazing.
JR: Well, thank you.
JZ: I love it. How about you’re a supermodel now? All those years we talked about it, and here you are!
JR: I know. My sister and I were actually just on the phone, and we were laughing so hard. She goes, “How are you suddenly turned into a supermodel? You’re almost 50.” It’s funny.
JZ: I love it! I talked to Riccardo yesterday and I said, ‘What made you think of Julie?’ He’s like, ‘She was my first choice. She’s so iconic. She has this really strong, mature beauty about her and nobody can top her.’
JR: It’s so sweet. It’s funny because I had never met him before our first day together shooting the campaign. I was so nervous, and I was expecting this very kind of chic man in a suit and a white shirt and a tie. I come walking in and there’s this good-looking man in a plaid flannel shirt and some work boots. I’m like, “This is Riccardo?”
JZ: He’s so nice!
JR: He’s so sweet. He’s in an industry that I find very intimidating and elusive—just like the good-looking girl in high school. The whole fashion industry is that to me. And then you meet these people who are so kind, love what they do, and are very interested in the personal aspects of it. You know, the way you look, it’s so personal. Riccardo put me very much at ease. And Mert and Marcus are just the most fun people to spend a day with.
JZ: What did you think of the pictures?
JR: Well, it’s impossible for me to be totally objective and not make four or seven jokes right now. I wish I looked like that! If you could see me right now, you’d be laughing so hard. I think they’re very cool images and I think all the clothes would have been things I would have chosen for myself.
JZ: When I talked to him, I hadn’t seen the pictures yet, and then I said, “What did you design for Julia?” And he said, “She is the most iconic woman for me in America, and I wanted to design for her the most iconic looks.” I love that description.
JR: Well, they were so beautiful, and they’re all so impeccable. Trends and I never shall meet; I just can’t quite pull it off! That’s why I love a suit. That’s why I love impeccable tailoring and really perfect fabrics. He did it all. That black, flowy blouse? It’s heaven on a hanger. It’s like a piece of artwork.
JZ: I love that shirt and I love that picture, too. But let’s talk about the smile. Riccardo said to me, “I love the smile, but I feel like everyone’s seen her that way, and this is not about red carpet. This is very much about the real her.” Do you think that this was a true version of you?
JR: When you’re walking down a red carpet, usually you’re walking to some place that you are excited to get to, so there’s an element of joy. For a still photograph, it’s great when it’s spontaneous and people are looking happy, but it can also look manufactured. Not just me, but for anybody! I love that they wanted it to be sort of cool, edgy, and boyish. I was happy to serve because it’s nice to be different.
JZ: Do you get tired of people asking you for that all-American smile all the time?
JR: I’m just lucky that I’m smiling most of the time. It’s not that hard to throw it up.
JZ: You were saying a trend isn’t for you. There are a lot of trends that would be good on you, but trends aren’t for everybody. Is there some sort of style rule that you would give women?
JR: Well, the corny ones are the true ones. When you’re comfortable and you feel good in what you’re wearing, you’re going to look good. If you’re wearing something that’s so contrived and you look like a trussed up Thanksgiving turkey, you’re not going to look your best. For me, the older I get, the more I realize there are some major errors people make when it comes to what’s appropriate for their age.
JZ: I agree. They get caught up with trends. Have you made any style mistakes that where you think, “Oh my God, why did I ever do that?”
JR: Oh, I’m sure I’ve made hundreds, but you know, when I look back now, I’m glad I did. I think it was just part of a time and we weren’t so scrutinized 20 years ago. I just wore such crazy things. Bright tights, some secondhand naval officer jacket with a Rolling Stones t-shirt and a pair of boots. I thought I was ready to go. I’m so glad I had that time in my life to just really shop at thrift stores in Manhattan and wear really crazy shit.
JZ: I love that! So, I asked Riccardo—since he’s on Instagram every three seconds—if he tried to convince you to join and he got so nervous. He was like, “No, I could never do that. I can’t have a selfie with Julia on my phone!”
JR: Social media would just be another thing that I’d neglect. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. What does he post? Like his life? Or his clothes?
JZ: Mostly his life. He’ll be out all night and there’ll be like 50 pictures from it. That’s why I think people love it because social media is voyeuristic. Now, last question. How do you balance it all? Being a mom, an actress, now a muse, and model? Do you have any advice?
JR: Well, I say, try. But for me, it’s a daily impossibility. I just have to approach it with a sense of effort and humor because by 11 o’clock, there are 17 things that I have not, will not, and cannot get accomplished during the course of the day. Especially for working moms, there’s so much pressure to do it all and be it all and have it all, and I think the best thing to do is to give ourselves a break and say, let’s put forth our best efforts. As long as everyone is tucked in, happy and healthy at the end of the night, we’ve crossed the finish line.
JZ: It’s okay to not have it all. Or not do it all.
JR: For sure. It’s interesting raising children in a time of everything being fast and more. It really makes you realize that even though there’s greatness to all this invention and forward thinking, there’s also greatness to quietness and the simple things in life. Did Riccardo tell you that I told him to make a Givenchy mahjong set? Well, it’s because I’m obsessed with mahjong, Joe.
JZ: Do you play it? I don’t even know the rules. I’ve always tried to learn!
JR: No, Joe, this is an exclusive! I’m obsessed with mahjong.
JZ: Are the rules hard?
JR: It’s not that hard. I’m still such a beginner, but I have so much fun! Imagine the most chic Givenchy backgammon, dominoes, cards, and mahjong. Wouldn’t that be amazing?