Kelly Osbourne has come a long way since she first appeared as a feisty teenager on MTV reality show The Osbournes. She spoke to Jon Perks about fashion, family and fending for herself.
She may be the fashionable face of next month's Style In The City event, but Kelly Osbourne admits her dress sense has not always been so well received: "I always used to come downstairs wearing the most ridiculous outfits when I was a kid," recalls the 23-year-old.
"My mum and dad would be like: 'you really want to wear that?' and I'd be like 'yes', so they'd say 'okay...'
"The only thing my dad never let me wear was make-up or shoes with heels - so I think that's why when I did start wearing make-up I put tons and tons on my face, and I never started wearing heels until I was like 16 or 17, which for most girls nowadays is unheard of.
"When I did [first wear heels] it was like someone had clubbed my feet it hurt so bad, but I got used to it - and my mum would say 'pain is beauty' and 'they look good on you' - and I'd always have my flip-flops or my ballet slippers in my handbag so I could change."
She adds: "I definitely am a fan of certain fashion labels, but it's weird - I wear how I feel; for example, today I just wanted to be comfortable so I put on jeans and a baggy jumper and ballet slippers, but yesterday I was bored and did not leave my house and changed into three different pairs of pyjamas; the day before that I got completely dressed up, looking perfect - and went out and just took my dog for a walk."
Nowadays Kelly - who found fame alongside parents Ozzy and Sharon and brother Jack on MTV reality show The Osbournes - is renowned for her unique and eclectic sense of style, be it on a premiere red carpet or relaxing at home. So much so that two years ago Kelly replaced Elizabeth Hurley as presenter on Sky One's Project Catwalk, while in October she took over as host of
Radio 1's phone-in programme Sunday Surgery, which covers every subject from style to self-harm.
But while she works with her own stylist (to modify designer clothes to her taste or make them from scratch), the 'middle' Osbourne child insists it's not all about how you look - just as long as you smell nice:
"To me outer image is not important whatsoever, as long as it's not offensive - if you smell then you need to take a shower - but I truly believe if we were all meant to look the same we would," says Kelly, who will host the catwalk shows at Style In The City.
"Perfection is imperfection," she adds. "You don't all have to look the same, and that's one message that I really want to put out there; it's okay to have a stretch mark, and it's okay if one foot is bigger than the other, and it's okay if you think you've got a big arse - you most probably don't, it's a complex you've given yourself because of something some stupid kid said at school.
"It's absolutely hearbreaking to hear how many young girls and boys call in [to the Radio 1 show] - some even older than me - and are just so unhappy with themselves, and it's because they pick up a magazine and read that you need to weigh this much if you're this height...
"Everyone has a different idea of perfect; I have a friend, this guy, who will only date women that are like 13, 14 stone - he only likes big women - and he's the smallest, skinniest person you could ever imagine, so it's different strokes for different folks."
Rather than turn the Osbourne offspring into spoilt celebrity siblings, living life on the road with the Prince of Darkness for a dad has done wonders for their social skills, says Kelly:
"My mum has always said she doesn't understand me, because I will talk to anyone," she says. "I try really hard not to be judgmental, because I was judged at a very young age; I always take people at face value.
"You have an A in my book, I give you 100% when I first meet you; if you are then sh***y it goes down, no matter who you are or what you do. I even have a mate who is homeless - every time he sees me in Soho he asks how I'm doing, he even knows my friends' names.
"I think it's because of growing up on the road, where it was either sit on the tour bus all day watching Nickelodeon and Disney Channel or get up and go out and meet people - and that's what me and my brother did.
"We went out and we'd help put up the stage and help the roadies, we gave ourselves jobs to do - not like they needed us to help them - but at a young age like seven, talking to people and being around adults, it boosts your people skills."
At next month's Style In The City, which runs for four days at various locations around the city centre, Kelly will be joined by the likes of Trinny and Susannah and Stella McCartney (who premieres her new sports line for Adidas). Visitors will be able to tour the city and see fashion shows, pick up fashion tips, get beauty treatments - and receive a limited edition Christopher Kane bag, specially designed for the event.
"I'm really looking forward to it - I just love the fact that they're doing it somewhere else from London," says Kelly.
"To be able to get paid to look at something you love and be a part of something that's big like this Style In The City in Birmingham, to me is a really big deal - because when people think of fashion they think of London, New York, Paris, Milan, they never think about what's going on in the real world, and I think it's great that they're taking this to other cities and I just thought 'I want to be a part of this', because fashion is in Birmingham too."
At times while we chat it's hard to realise this eloquent, astute young woman is the same Kelly Osbourne who first burst onto our screens six years ago - and who Rolling Stone once described as a 'pint-sized potty mouthed spitfire'.
But, as she's quick to point out, we've all had a touch of teenage brat syndrome at some point in our lives: "You know what, back then that's probably how I was, because I was only 15 or 16, and now I'm 23 and it's called growing up," she says.
"I think every kid goes through that 'mum I'm not going... dad - f*** off!' - that rebellious 'I know everything' part of their life;
I was saying to my mum the other day: 'I used to think I knew absolutely everything and thought I was such an adult, and now I realise that I really don't know that much' - and people don't realise how lucky they are when you're a child and your dinner's cooked for you and you get money off your parents every week if you're lucky enough, and everything is cushy; your mum does your laundry... and then you move out into the big bad world and 'oh, I don't have any clean underwear; oh I haven't done my laundry'; you start to face certain responsibilities that you thought would be so easy and they're not.
"What's so great about my parents is they made a point that we have to do it on our own," says Kelly. "I'm sure if I was ever really stuck they'd be there, but they made a point: 'we'll pay for school and we'll buy your first car and then that's it' - and that's what they did.
"I'm glad they did because yes, I was born on a silver platter - but I'm the one who keeps on having to polish it."
Style In The City runs from April 3-6 - go to www.styleinthecityevent.co.uk for more information.
To take advantage of a special discounted day pass offer of two tickets for only £30 (usual price £25 each), call 0871 231 0838 or log on to www.styleinthecityevent.co.uk and quote our exclusive code 'NEWS'.
Style In The City is a four day fashion festival with a difference.
Taking you on a tour of Birmingham, ticket holders can take in a host of retailers (including House of Fraser, The Mailbox and Selfridges) and the three key attractions - The Catwalk (a glamorous fashion show hosted by Kelly Osbourne);
The Birmingham Post Oasis at Pavilions (sit back and relax for some mini pampering treatments) and Trinny and Susannah's Style Academy.
Your ticket will include transport around the venues (by bus or, for Platinum ticket holders, by Jaguar) plus an exclusive Christopher Kane goodie bag, designed specially for the event.
Tickets are priced from £25 (standard day ticket) to £65 (platinum pass); book now on 0871 231 0838 or go to www.styleinthecityevent.co.uk