#MoreBeautifulWith is an interview series that cordially invites influential designers, artists, taste-makers and go-getters in for an inside look to how they contribute to making the world more beautiful than it was before. Our questions peels into a deeper layer of each artist, explores their individual philosophy and what fuels them. We will explore the journey of artisanship and gratitude while learning each individual’s unique path that led them to where they are now.
When people ask me about how I started my career as a designer, I always reference my time working for Rachel Zoe. Rachel was one of the first people that truly believed in my ability as a designer and encouraged me to follow my true passion and see it through.
In addition to being a long-time friend, Rachel is wildly successful as a businesswoman, with a media empire that has a finger on the pulse of the fashion industry: The Zoe Report. As an artist and a designer, she launched a beautiful fashion line under her name and has been praised by fashion publications across the board. Above all, she is a incredible and loving mother to two beautiful boys. In this interview, we dig into what inspires Rachel, what keeps her going and how she got her start in finding her passion in fast-paced and sometimes cut-throat world of the fashion industry.
How would you describe your journey to where you are now? Did you ever imagine yourself here?
No! I didn’t plan any of this... and I never thought I would go beyond being a stylist, ever! I’ve been in this business for two decades, and there have been many directions in my career...For the first twenty years I was styling, and then it was the TV show, the book, beginning a family… and then into my media business, The Zoe Report. And then my collection in 2011. There’s been many different milestones that I’ve had but I’m not someone who ever stops and realizes that it’s happening! It’s been an incredible life changing journey thus far, but also feel like I have so much more to do.
What was the most defining moment of your career?
I think one of my career-making moments was the vintage Valentino couture gown Jennifer Garner wore to the Oscars in 2004… It was everything. It was then when I really transitioned from dressing pop stars to doing glamorous red- carpet styling. That said, there have been several other career defining moments as I launched other aspects of my business.
Being an artist requires being completely vulnerable to your craft, do you ever have moments of doubt? If so, how do you deal with it?
Yes! I have had countless. I think every artist or designer has moments of doubt and fear. In the later parts of my career I have learned to be more confident in and trust my instincts. When I have gone against what feels right and don’t trust my gut, I tend to regret it.
What are the three most important things you consider during your process?
I’d say it’s always my mission to create clothes that woman feel their most confident self in. From there I think about where she is going to be wearing it in her life... and if I can’t imagine where something would be worn or fit into someone’s life I don’t move forward with the design..While I want to create these glamorous collections, as woman we are such multitaskers and do so many different things I always want my clothes to be not only be fashionable but functional in our everyday lives. In creating my collections comfort is one of the most important design elements.
Most prominent inspiration and major influences?
My style icons have always been Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin, Iman, DVF, Sofia Loren and so many more... strong, fashionable and glamorous women who endlessly inspire me. And in life , Oprah, need I say more?
If you had three “thank you” cards in your hand right now, who would you send it to?
First and foremost my mother, father and sister.. My mom for her true love of glamour, my father for constantly making me feel like I can succeed at anything and my sister for being my bff for life whom I can’t breathe without. Rodger, for being my rock, he truly is my partner in life in every sense.. And from a career prospective, Marc Jacobs for his words of wisdom in a time that I was very vulnerable. He taught me about how to handle growing a brand and business when I was coming out and transitioning my career. He has always been a major mentor for me. And lastly, Tommy Hilfiger for helping me as a stylist and giving me my first big break.
Describe your favorite feeling that will never get old when it comes to your work.
Being able to do what I love while working with my amazingly team! I believe in being very hands-on and work very closely with everyone whether it be for my collection, Box of Style or third-party partnerships.
Looking back at your 20-something self, how were you then and if you could tell yourself something what would you say?
Don't be too trusting of people. When I first started out in the industry I was very naïve and very, very trusting of everyone. There are obviously still a ton of amazing people. I just mean be careful of who you let into your immediate circle. There were many instances where people who I had considered friends turned out not to be. Also, that not every decision is life or death.. I thought every step I took and every decision I made was going to break my career. You have to trust your gut at the end of the day and do what you think is best for yourself and business.
How do you contribute to making the world a more beautiful place than it was before? This could be through your artistry or your personal lifestyle.
Most importantly I think having a positive attitude and being kind to everyone I meet is really important and leaves a lasting impression. As mentioned, through my artistry I really try and create beautiful pieces that woman feel confident in wearing while looking glamourous.. And in my personal life helping children is something that is very near and dear to me. I’m committed to philanthropic organizations both locally and globally, serving as an Ambassador for Save the Children and on the Board of Directors for Baby2Baby. Additionally, I work closely with St.Jude, CHLA and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.