Rachel Zoe has always been a woman that I’ve admired. She has built a tremendous business for herself, which all started and was rooted from her love and passion for fashion and style. I have always told my husband that if I ever got a chance to meet and interview Rachel Zoe, I would. I joked on my Facebook wall that I would take planes, trains and automobiles to get to her if need be… ironically enough, it did take a train and an automobile to get to her – but it did happen last week!
Rachel has teamed up with Downy and Tide to learn more about the best ways to care for various types of fabrics, including ones that she uses in her collections. Many people are confused on how to care for their high/low fashion – I know I am at times, too. Rachel will be going to P&G’s facilities in Cincinnati this fall to better understand the best possible regimens for caring for both, transforming less expensive pieces to make them feel more luxe and keeping designer pieces looking great, too. Rachel mentioned Downy Fabric Conditioner during our interview and I have to tell you, I LOVE this product! Downy Fabric Conditioner protects at the fiber level to reduce abrasion from daily wear, which ages your clothes. The conditioned fibers hold their original form better, resisting stretching. They are also less likely to break, decrease pilling, which also dulls the clothes. I’m telling you – this is the best when it comes to helping your clothing – just like a good hair conditioner, your clothes need it, too!
And so… AHHH!! I got to sit down with Rachel Zoe, along with my bestie Vera Sweeney and interview her about laundry, fashion and motherhood. I’m telling you, it was just extraordinary. She was so honest and open and just the kindest woman! I’m beyond excited to share with our interview:
Q : Let’s talk about Tide and Downy.
RZ : 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. And, you know, they approached me about talking about laundering fabrics, washing fabrics, what fabrics can be washable. So many women struggle with, I-don’t-want-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.” And 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 going to P & G headquarters to learn more about it.
Q : Are you going to work some of these pieces into your next collection?
RZ : 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.
Q : As a mom too, we have eight kids between the two of us, so we definitely get it.
RZ : You guys, I have two kids, and the amount of laundry is laughable, thank god my mother is in the city, because we’ve literally just been giving her wads of laundry.
Q : Being a busy working mom, how do you balance it all? Besides being a fashion icon, you are an entrepreneur.
RZ : 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.
Q : When did you know things had come together and solidified for you?
RZ : You know, I get asked that sometimes. I don’t know, because there are- you know, 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.
Q : What about the one for Lifetime?
RZ : Yeah… it’s literally premiering September 24th, right after Project Runway on Lifetime at 10:30PM.
Q : What is it about?
RZ : 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.
Q : We’ll be tuning in. Can you give us two fashion tips every woman should know?
RZ : 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.
Q : What are some styles for kids now?
RZ : 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.
Q : What do you wear on your day off?
RZ : 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- like 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.
Q : Besides the kids, what are you most proud of?
RZ : 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.
Q : What’s your favorite piece in the collection?
RZ : 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.
Just the best interview and she was so open with her time… didn’t rush us at all!
A HUGE thank you to Rachel Zoe and the Downy and Tide team for making this happen!!
Not to mention, she even checked out a video of my daughter dressed up as HER for Halloween last year!
I. DIE! 🙂