Nicole Richie felt pressure to be taken seriously when she made her debut as a fashion designer.

The 36-year-old former reality star was initially known as one of the faces on 'The Simple Life' alongside Paris Hilton but decided to follow her dreams of starting her own fashion business after the show ended - a decision she says came with the pressure to succeed in her new venture.

In an interview with Forbes, she shared: ''I am a serious designer. At the same time, I'm still me. I learnt very quickly that validation cannot come from someone else.

''There are many versions of success and everyone has to define this for themselves . For me, I want to be able to stand behind what I'm doing. Even if it's a failure, it's my failure and I can stand behind that.''

Nicole's label - House of Harlow 1960 - has gradually become one of the most powerful brands since its launch in 2008 when it initially started out as a costume jewellery company.

She said: ''I have been working on this from the time I was 24. I really didn't even know if it was something that I could turn into a business. I knew that I loved creating, but obviously, there's more to it than that. Once I got into the business, I never looked back.''

On reflection, the 'Candidly Nicole' star said that she would tell her younger self to focus on creating a voice and identity for before kick-starting her brand.

She explained: ''In this industry, you constantly have to fight for your signature and your DNA in your brand. It is so easy to get lost in other people's versions of what your brand should look like,.

''It's like constantly exercising and being almost aggressive in protecting your brand so that that anyone can look at a piece that you have designed and say, ''Okay, I know who created that.'''