We all buy clothes, but no two people shop the same. It can be a social experience, and a deeply personal one; at times, it can be impulsive and entertaining, at others, purpose-driven, a chore. Where do you shop? When do you shop? How do you decide what you need, how much to spend and what’s “you”? These are some of the questions we’re putting to prominent figures in our column “How I Shop.”
When Fashionista last caught up with Rickey Thompson in early 2019, he said his dream would be to book a fashion campaign. (“Fingers crossed,” he told Maria.) Well, in the two-plus years since, he’s done that — and then some: The actor and social media star has not one, not two, not three, but four ads for Coach, one of the biggest American fashion houses (and, not to mention, become a go-to host for Coach TV spots). His latest, for the brand’s “Give A Little Love” holiday spot, dropped this week, and also stars Jennifer Lopez, Michael B. Jordan, Paloma Elsesser, Barbie Ferreira and more.
“I love everything about [the campaign] — literally everything,” he says of the images by Pierre-Ange Carlotti, Thompson, where he appears alongside comedian Quen Blackwell and his real-life cousin. “I just loved the holiday clothes: the bags, the shoes, the top, the jacket. Everything just went perfectly, and gave classy friendship vibes. Then, I got to bring my baby cousin on set to shoot with me, which is absolutely everything… It came together so beautifully.”
Thompson’s work for Coach was just the beginning. Since he booked that first campaign in 2019, he’s attended the fashion week shows of brands like Balenciaga, Balmain, Mugler and Ludovic de Saint Sernin (and Coach, of course). He’s appeared on the covers of magazines. And he’s just getting started.
“I hope to continue to grow more [and book] more campaigns,” he says. “I want to walk more and really blow up in the fashion world.”
Though his fashion profile has grown exponentially, some things haven’t changed for Thompson, like his belief that good accessorizing can make an outfit and the fact that there’s only more to come from him in the fashion space. Ahead, he talks holiday gifting (and dressing), his love of bags and the trends he’s been really excited about lately. Read on.
“[The last few years, working in fashion has] made me want to dress better, and I love that about myself. I’m literally so obsessed with dressing myself. I look at myself like a doll: I wake up each and every day and I get excited about what I want to wear. I’m like, ‘Okay, cute.’ I want to wear the nicest things and look my absolute best. Wherever I’m going, I want to turn a look. Being able to work with fashion houses, it just opened my eyes to fashion.
“I’m so proud that I’m actually able to work with big fashion houses. I never thought in a million years that I would actually be working with fashion. I was like, ‘I don’t know. Maybe I’m not the right fit.’ But I realized that I am. I love fashion so much. The fact that I’m doing this at such a young age and that I have so many Coach campaigns under my belt makes me feel amazing.
“I love the Coach family. I love everything they do. They make me feel happy. They make me feel comfortable. They allow me to go into the workspace and really make anything my own. I actually am obsessed — working with the fashion world is everything.
“I love trying different things. Before, I used to be afraid to wear certain colors or certain fits of clothes. Now I literally try everything. Like the whole wearing a skirts and jeans — at first, I was like, ‘I don’t know if I like that. I don’t know if I can pull that off.’ But I got this cute black pleated skirt and I put it on with some cute jeans and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is everything. I look so adorable. I love how it looks. I love how it fits on me.’ I was very nervous about doing that, but now I’m obsessed. I love experimenting with fashion.
“I found [my style] for the first time when I moved to L.A. I’m from North Carolina, so the fashion world is really not that big down there. When I went to L.A. and I saw different people wearing these clothes and going above and beyond, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I can do this, too.’ Also, being able to work in New York and being able to travel all over the world, I’ve just seen so many different people just really rock fashion. And I’m like, ‘I can do the exact same thing.’ Traveling really opened my eyes to the fashion world.
“I’ve been obsessed with the low-rise pant look. I used to be such a high waisted guy, but now, I think low rise is so cute. It’s so sexy. I love how it looks on my body, and I’ve been seeing it a lot lately on the runway. I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I cannot wait to incorporate more low-rise pants in my closet.’ I’m really interested in the oversized look, too. I love me in an oversized jacket. I love me in baggy pants. I just love going out and being comfortable — that’s one of my biggest things: If I go out, I don’t want to be like, ‘I can’t breathe in this outfit,’ or, ‘My pants are too tight.’ I like be relaxed. I like to be cool. A lot of brands are doing that whole oversized-everything look, and I love, love, love, love, love. When I go shop, I make sure, ‘Are my pants long enough? Are they baggy enough? Is my jacket baggy enough?’
“The only thing I’m looking for right now is the perfect leather blazer. That’s my biggest, biggest, biggest, biggest thing. It’s so hard to find that. I want to find the most perfect leather blazer that fits me perfectly — the right length and everything like that.
“Boots are my thing. That really describes my personal fashion right now — anytime you see me, ‘Does Rickey have on a nice boot?’ If I do, I’m having a great day. I’m really killing it. I’ll wear them all year around. I don’t care what anybody has to say: I will wear nice boots all year round.
“I’ve been really obsessed with wearing loafers recently. I’ve been buying a lot of different type of loafers — platform loafers, low loafers, a loaf with a heel on it. I still am obsessed with boots, but I really wanted to switch it up. I love how sleek loafers are.
“I love to accessorize. I feel like you always have to know how to. Once you accessorize, it makes the outfit even better.
“I’ve started carrying a lot of bags. My mother, my aunt and my grandmother, they are the purse ladies. They would have a bag every single time, and I was like, ‘I want to start wearing them.’ Now, my bag collection is unbelievable. Anytime I go out and see a bag that I want, I’m going to get it. I work hard, I’m going to treat myself. Right now, I’m about 20 in, and I’m going to keep the collection growing.
“I remember growing up, my mom used to always wear turtlenecks. I was always afraid to wear a turtleneck, but now I’m obsessed. As I [grow] up, I really love to make my fashion more classy, sleek, grown and sexy. My fashion has definitely turned a new leaf in that direction. Before, I was somebody who was loving a lot of loud colors, very ’90s-esque. But then I was like, ‘I really want to start dressing more grown, more sophisticated.’
“The first Coach bag that I can think of is the one my mom wore all the time. It was this simple, black, monogrammed Coach bag. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s so cute and classy.’ Fast forward to now, being able to work with Coach and be a part of the family, it’s amazing. I can never forget about that monogrammed black Coach bag. There was this simple black mini bag that my grandma used to always wear, too. So I live for Coach — Coach has been in my family for the longest time.
“The last thing I bought on impulse was in Vegas. I bought this book bag and was like, ‘Oh, there’s a handbag that matches it? I need it.’ And I bought it too. It was a crazy price, but it looks so good together. I’m like, ‘I can so wear these two pieces together and really be obnoxious with it.’ So yeah, I bought a book bag and a matching bag to go with it.
“I love shopping online. Going into stores, it’s fun, it’s cute, but I love being able to sit on my bed and shop until I drop. It’s so much fun. I feel like shopping in stores, I don’t know. I just love being able to be on my laptop and imagine, ‘Will I look amazing in this? I think yes. Let me put it on my card.’ I love that feeling.
“My best friend Denzel, any time [I want to buy something] I send him, like, ‘Is this cute? Will I look good in it? Is this right?’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, get it. It’s worth it.’ So I always hit him up. Any time I need advice, he’ll answer. I love having a friend like that, because he’s the reason why I’ve gotten into fashion. Before, I didn’t care, but he was like, ‘Come on, Rickey. You’re in L.A. now. You’re being seen. You have to look your absolute best.’ Since that day, I’ve been on it, so I’m really thankful for him.
“This holiday season, like I said before, I really want to give something grown, warm and very sleek. When I go back home, I want to mess around, and I don’t know, wear a suit, maybe. I just want to dress up and look very nice for the holidays.
“Anytime I go gift shopping, I always think, ‘What can make this person smile the most?’ I’ll mess around. I’ll think about what they told me what they liked, or I’ll go back through old text messages, see what they’re loving at the moment, and get a gift around that. I just really want to make somebody happy during the holidays. I love giving gifts.”
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