Exclusive Interview With Rachel Zoe

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I met Rachel Zoe. I interviewed Rachel Zoe. All is right with the world. Now – what everyone didn’t know that day is I was suffering from a MASSIVE sinus infection (not contagious I checked). I was on about 14 pills here and I think you can tell by my eyes – but it wasn’t going to stop me. I had to meet her. She’s really an inspiration to me. A worker like no other. A girl from Jersey with a true passion for fashion and an internal hustle that skyrocketed her to the top.

This is everything to me. Rachel Zoe didn’t have a famous mother. She didn’t have an industry hook up. She earned it. Every client. Every piece of buzz. Every nod. And I TOTALLY respect her for that. I’ve been watching her for years and now that’s she’s a mom – I respect her THAT MUCH MORE.

So, yes, this interview was an absolute career highlight for me and I have Tide and Downy to thank for it! They teamed up with Rachel Zoe and offered up a handful of interviews to their contacts. THANKFULLY, I made the cut.

Let’s get right into it.

Usually, I cut out the fluff and just highlight when I do celebrity interviews, but for this one – I’m going to post the whole thing. I want to be able to reference it again in the future and I honestly think it’s just a great read as is.

How did you team up with Tide and Downy?

Rachel Zoe: They came to me because obviously I’m a designer and someone obsessed with clothes and somebody who has collected clothes for years and years and years.  They approached me about talking about laundering fabrics, washing fabrics, what fabrics can be washable.  So many women struggle not wanting to dry clean everything. I don’t want to lose seven days with my black tux jacket suede jacket that I need to wear every other day.

It was all these kind of things that we started talking about and I started to become really fascinated. I started to ask the girls in my office and some of my friends, ‘Do you dry clean everything?’ and they were like ‘NO!’…  What I’ve learned is that so many fabrics actually are washable and you can wash them and sometimes it’s even better than dry cleaning for certain fabrics. I was very fascinated by it and I really wanted to learn more about it and I became involved.

I’m actually going to P & G headquarters to learn more about it.

Are you going to work some of these pieces into your next collection?

Rachel Zoe: Yes.  You know, the reality of it is, is that some of them are in fact able to be washed and, you know, with Downy it actually really helps it because it preserves the color… the fabric… and the integrity of the texture and everything.

Being a busy working mom, how do you balance it all? Besides being a fashion icon, you are an entrepreneur.

Rachel Zoe: Well, first of all I have a nursery in my office, so you may or may not know that, but I have a nursery in my office so that the moms can take their kids to work.  So that’s, that’s part of it.  I’ve always believed that moms can and should be able to have the option to bring their children to work.  Obviously the older they get, it’s harder.  And it’s really meant to be until they start preschool. I’ve always brought my kids with me wherever I can and I feel it’s appropriate.  So they’re here in New York, they’ll be making an appearance shortly.  And, you know, it’s a constant struggle but I always want to be with them, twenty-four-seven.

But it is my name on the door and I love my job and I love all the different perks of my job.  So I try to do them both at the same time sometimes, but a lot of times you have to really separate it and with Skyler when I just had the one- it was easier to take him everywhere.

And as you guys know, once you have two, it’s harder to take them anywhere.

So now it’s really just a mix.  Every day.  Because the thing about my life is it’s weird, there’s no exact the same day.  There’s just not.  So I can’t make a schedule that’s like from, you know, this, this, and this.  That part is hard but I refuse to not be a full time mom… do you know what I mean?  It’s so important and they make me happy all the time.

Right after my fashion show on Sunday I literally went home, everyone went to this big lunch and I was like, I love everyone, but I need to go my hotel room.  I need to sit with my babies, I need to chew on their feet and their heads and their lips for the next hour and a half and that’s what I did.  And I felt like a completely new person.  It was like I just slept fourteen hours, I just needed to get out of that head and into my children and, you know… then I went to another fashion show.  [LAUGHS] It’s a lot of back and forth.

When did you know things had come together and solidified for you?

Rachel Zoe:  You know, I get asked that sometimes.  I’ve been in this business for two decades.  And so the reality of it is, there’s been a lot of different directions in my career.  So styling obviously monopolized the first fifteen years.  And then it was the TV show, the book, and, you know, all these other things… and then into my media business, The Zoe Report. And then my collection in 2010.  So I think, you know, it’s one of those things where there’s been different milestones that I’ve had but I’m not someone who ever stops and realizes that it’s happening.

So people ask me, oh do you believe all you’ve done and this and that… and I’m like- no, because all I think about is how can I be better — what’s next, you know? I think it’s just because I love it.  And I just want to always work.  Try and be better at whatever it is that I’m doing.

But my interests have changed, you know, meaning I love to do my collection, I love being an editor of The Zoe Report.  And I love… I’m just fascinated by the media business and all these things.  And, you know, I think it changes a little bit.  Because the life of a stylist is insane, meaning like, you know, you’re at someone’s house until four in the morning, it’s much harder to do when you’re a mom too. I think things just shifted a little bit.  But I would say the turning point, I don’t know.

I mean, a lot of people would say my TV show, but that’s not what it was for me.  You know, I think that was just the most public thing.

What about the new show for Lifetime?

Rachel Zoe: Yeah it’s literally premiering September 24th, right after Project Runway on Lifetime at 10:30PM.

It’s a talk show and it’s basically me and my friend Derek who is a big fashion insider and he’s funny as all hell, but we laugh a lot. It’s thirty minutes and we have a guest every night, every show.  And we’re going to talk about fashion and pop culture and style and red carpet and all that’s happening in our, in our crazy world.

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Can you give us two fashion tips every woman should know?

Rachel Zoe: I would never say what not to wear, you know, because we’re in a place in fashion right now where there’s no rules.  There are no set do’s and don’t’s as much as there used to be. It’s like to each his own, there’s so many trends.

I say for moms, save your workout clothes for working out. That’s just my kind of my thing. Do you know what I mean?  I think there’s a lot of opportunity to wear workout clothes when in fact you’re working out.  Or, you know, of course you’re doing things around the house or chores but I just feel like- if you want to kind of feel like a woman a little bit, you just want to feel better about yourself, put on a good pair of jeans, put on a cute jacket or a shirt you feel comfortable in, a pair of flats instead of your workout sneakers. It’s kind of ultimately you just feel better about yourself. You know?  Obviously driving your kids to school and you’re going to work out after, god speed, you know, but like- I think, you know, after you work out, change.

What are some styles for kids now?

Rachel Zoe: You know, it’s funny, I, you know, as far as trends, I love to put one-pieces on my kids, because they remind me of them being a baby.  So I like to keep the one-pieces as long as possible and quite frankly, it’s like I love wearing jumpsuits.  So it’s sort of like I love a good one-piece, it’s so comfortable it feels like you’re wearing pajamas.   And they’re moving around so much, so I just feel like they’re- they’re really comfortable for them.

I really love slouchy comfortable clothes for them because kids you don’t want anything too constricting for them. There’s obviously certain brands I go to now for them. I love a brand called Nico Nico. I love a brand called Egg. There’s so many! I love dressing the kids. I love it, I mean I love beanies. I love Burberry Kids.  I love Ralph Lauren Kids. I literally am obsessed with Ralph Lauren Kids clothes.  Well for boys, I mean, boys we’re very limited, you know, there is not much for boys.

What do you wear on your day off?

Rachel Zoe: If I’m at home or if I’m leaving?  If I’m at home and not leaving, I’m in a bathrobe. But truth be told, I don’t remember since before I had children, a day-before I had kids, Roger and I would have a weekend shut-in.  If I had a weekend off, I would literally stay in my bathrobe like the whole weekend.  And we’d need to order in food, watch movies. I haven’t done that in almost five years.  So that doesn’t happen that much. If I’m running around, I’ll wear like a great like black maxi dress that’s like really comfortable.  Some kind of like super easy, you know, just something soft and comfortable. T-shirts and like drape-y dresses, just super easy and comfortable.

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Besides the kids, what are you most proud of?

Rachel Zoe: I love being a designer.  Yeah, it’s a couple things.  I mean, I can’t say one, because it’s a little bit like being a mom, these are different extensions of me and what I do every day, I mean they are my babies.  And I would say designing my collection, being editor in chief of the Zoe Report, because I’ve always wanted to be an Editor in Chief and this is like a dream fulfilled for me. I would say starting the new TV show. I’m really excited about that because doing the last show was very hard and really took over my life for five years.  And this show will not involve my personal life, it’s very light, it’s very fun.  It’s an escape for everybody.  It should just be entertaining.  And so I’m very excited about doing it.  I really hope people are going to love it.

What’s your favorite piece in the collection?

Rachel Zoe: In my latest collection?  Ooh, so many.  Probably the beaded dresses and then the lace. I love the lace pieces.  There’s an ivory lace long sleeve with like an accordion pleat sleeve and I cannot wait to wear it.

TOTAL DREAM COME TRUE!

Find Rachel On Twitter, Instagram and check out The Zoe Report here.

And thank you once again to Tide and Downy for teaming up with Rachel during NYFW and setting up these interview blocks. Remember, just like you would always use a conditioner on your hair, Downy is conditioner for your clothes. Fabric conditioner helps fabric fibers from stretching, fading and fuzz. Check out Downy Fabric Conditioner!!

 

About Vera Sweeney

Vera Sweeney – mom, blogger, and New York resident – is the founder of Lady and the Blog. Her main focus is to help busy women stay on top of the latest style, culinary, and parenting trends.

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