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OFF THE CUFF WITH THEODORA RICHARDS

Apr 6, 2020

By Richard Ray Ruiz

Photography by Melissa Rodwell & Words by Adam Pollock

There are mythic figures in pop culture, and then there’s Keith Richards. Known as much for his swashbuckling ways – he owns the term elegantly wasted – as for the mountain of genre defining rock and roll hits he helped pen, he’s the living embodiment of a hard life well lived, or at least survived. That he has, for over thirty years now, embraced a more gentile routine in rural Connecticut with long-time wife, the lovely model Patti Hansen, and a brood of healthy, well-adjusted offspring, including 30-something daughter Theodora, is a testament to the man’s ability to age with grace and dignity. Keith may have once rivaled Ozzy in the decadence department, but for happy ever after hand it to the Richardses’.

Theodora, and her sister Alexandra, have been fixtures on the downtown fashion and music scenes for over a decade, modeling for established and upcoming designers at clubs and on runways, and DJing at all the fab spots. For the last three years, Theodora has been at the helm of Off The Cuff, a successful radio show on SiriusXM that combines conversation with la crème de la crème of rock royalty, from Iggy Pop to her dad, with the spinning of tunes that are meaningful to the discussion. We sat down with the model/media mogul between shots for this issue’s fashion spread.

AP: So, tell us about your hot show on Sirius.

TR: It’ll be three years in November, and it’s just like, the dream job. What I originally was doing was just making mixtapes for mom and dad that were super eclectic, but kind of bled into each other.

AP: For your parents?

TR: Yeah, for mom and dad. And it kind of slithered into (president of SiriusXM) Scott Greenstein’s back pocket, and he got one of my things and he loved it. It felt really organic.

AP: I saw the list of people you’ve had on, and it’s obviously great that you have access to these people, but you also have to be able to feel a connection with them.

TR: Yeah, absolutely. And you know what, it felt like – just building a conversation. I also have to thank the music for that, because that was what the whole thing was about. Those guys would choose their five songs, and by doing that, I would be able to kind of build my questions and conversation around their choices.

AP: They pick their five songs?

TR: Yeah. Not their, like, things that they wrote. Things they grew up with.

AP: Their favorite songs. So like, Iggy Pop would pick five songs and you would also pick five.

TR: Yeah, that’s the whole thing, bleeding into a conversation by choosing my songs after their songs. Iggy chose all songs about New York, then I chose all of my songs that reminded me of the city, that was really fun.

AP: It sounds to me like this has a great future – it could go forever.

TR: Hopefully yes, that it could just continue, I’ll be an old woman running this show, which would be fantastic. I feel really at home in it, and it’s just getting better. I mean, they’ve set the bar quite high with all of these amazing people, Bettye LaVette, Ronnie Spector, Debbie Harry, wow.

AP: Does Sirius get to vet your suggestions?

TR: It’s been a mixture; it’s also about whoever’s in town. Sirius has only got their headquarters in L.A. and New York; I’d love to make the skip and the jump over to London. Bobby Gillespie is someone I’m craving to do. I love him.

AP: But then you could mix it up too. Does it have to be musicians? Could it be Kate Moss?

TR: No, it doesn’t have to, exactly. Kate’s in the family.

AP: So she knows the history and these people.

TR: She’s my niece’s godmother, so I’ve known Kate forever. The whole thing for me is, I love people and I love stories, and the fact that these are inspirational legends that I’m sitting across from who are playing songs that they grew up in the kitchen listening to, that their parents were playing or the song that they fell in love to. Cat Power was incredibly different with her choices. Everything was poetry with her.

AP: I’m such a rock and roll history buff and read a lot of books about it, I recently read David Bowie The Oral History (Dylan Jones), basically interviews with most of the people he’s ever been involved with since childhood.

TR: Amazing. I just saw him doing an interview on the BBC where he was talking about what the Internet was going to be like, and he was so prophetic. He was like, “It’s an alien, and it’s going to come to life in such a way.” That’s so up my alley.

AP: Like his childhood friend that had hit him in the eye and changed the color.

TR: Shut up. So these stories from boyhood?

AP: His whole career, I’ll send you the book.

TR: That would be lovely, I’m always looking for a good read.

AP: It’s like with your Iggy interview, talking about his favorite New York songs, that’s palpable information, great stuff.

TR: Totally. It’s juicy.

AP: What’s your favorite trip?

TR: Gosh, I mean…I loved Argentina. South America was pretty special. I’d love to go back and hang out in Japan. That’s like my dream. I want to follow gardens, so the cherry blossoms in Kyoto, and the tulips in Denmark.

AP: Bourdain said Japan was his favorite place.

TR: Really? I have a lot of friends that go and spend time over there, and not just in Tokyo, not in the craze and the chaos of the city.

AP: The countryside.

TR: Yeah, and that is where I’d love to go and kind of figure out everything. Cities can have that buzz, but I would love to go and explore a little more of what the countryside of each place would be awesome. Japanese gardens.

AP: For sure. As an older person I kind of bemoan New York and the changes. It’s more expensive and crowded, less cool. Do you have a feeling about that? You’re young still.

TR: For sure. I think that every person who lives in Manhattan has felt that same exact thing. When I moved here, when I was like 18, 19, all we kept hearing is, “You would’ve loved old New York.” It’s like, you can make it your own out of what it is, but it is sad to be like, saying goodbye to certain places already. I’m like, how the hell did that happen? There’s a lot more Starbucks everywhere.

AP: I try and say, okay, 18-year-olds now; they get to have their time. Good for them. I got here in the early nineties, and I missed Danceteria, and Area, and Warhol, but then I had my nineties. I had Don Hills and St. Marks and punk rock. It was a good time.

TR: I got to experience that a little bit. I love the idea of daydreaming about the gritty and raw New York. Debbie Harry captured it pretty well in her book Face It. I think she really nailed it on the head.

AP: For your show, obviously you’ve been focusing a lot on iconic names. Do you discover new music, and do you have a favorite new band?

TR: Yeah, new bands, I get so used to listening to what I love, which is a lot of girl groups from the 60’s, and I kind of stay stuck in the past a little bit. But moving towards newer bands that I’ve interviewed, like the kid from Stranger Things, Joe Keery, that was surprising. It was a little bit electronica pop, that was quite fun. The Lemons Twigs, those kids are great, little punk brothers. They’re awesome. Check them out.

AP: Would you have them on your show?

TR: Yeah, I would absolutely love that. I’ve made my little dream list – it is growing.

AP: Has your dad been supportive?

TR: He’s been very supportive. He listens and he gives me a lot of praise, says I’m a natural.

AP: I’m sure he’s not quick to praise, necessarily.

TR: He’ll tell me like it is, for sure.

AP: He’s known for that.

TR: There’s no, like, floating compliments where it’s just, like, air. No. Dad will not blow smoke up my ass for sure. That’s not his way.

AP: I caught the (Stones) show last year in DC, and it was so impressive.

TR: That was a great show. I did as much as I could on that tour, actually. That was fantastic.

AP: That guy out front, he’s still …

TR: I know! It’s incredible. And two months after the heart thing! These guys put me to shame. I have to sit down during that show.

AP: Fashion-wise, designers – are you super into it?

TR: I do love it. I haven’t really been shopping so much because I just haven’t these days. But people that I love and I adore are Alaïa. I thought he was a genius, and with one seam. It’s just incredible.

AP: McQueen was like that too.

TR: Exactly. Masters of their craft.

AP: He could just look at you and design something.

TR: I think Marc Jacobs is really great.

AP: Tom Ford.

TR: Tom Ford is unbelievable. When I think of Tom Ford, I see my mom. She’s got sleek lines. She likes a suit.

AP: How long does it take to work a show out?  

TR: Well, depending on if there’s a guest, if they’ve got something that they want me to promote, it’s like if I have to read a book.

AP: You’ve got to think it through.

TR: And I’m a pretty fast reader, especially when it’s about something I’m passionate about.

AP: So even for an hour show, it’s many hours prep I’m sure.

TR: Weeks’ worth of me preparing. Especially when they do their songs, I want to research, I’m learning about new things as we go. That’s also what the blessing is. I’m learning and they’re learning and we’re just having a lot of fun.

AP: Congrats that’s really cool. Thanks so much for taking the time.

Photographer: Melissa Rodwell @melissarodwell

Words by: Adam Pollock @adompnyc

Fashion Editor: Tanya Tauthong-Kass @tanyatauthongkass

Styling by: Engie Hassan @engiestyle

Makeup by Maria Scali @elisavalentinaagency

Makeup Assistant Madison Bermudez

Hair by Tanya Pacht @tanyapacht

Stylist Assistant Emma Stein & Sanair Perkins

Print and download Available Here https://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1757709

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