Who What Wear did an amazing interview and shoot inside Rachel Zoe's LA's office and showroom. Yes, we die.
Explain your job in one sentence please:
I am a fashion stylist helping not only my red carpet clients, but women everywhere, look and feel their most beautiful.
What is a typical workday like for you?
I don’t know that I have ever had a typical workday, thank god or I’d get bored. My job keeps me on my toes where one day I am sorting through fabric swatches and vintage archives designing my line, the next I am in editorial meetings for The Zoe Report. Of course, then there is dressing clients for events, which will always be my favorite part of what I do. Add spending time with my son Skyler into the mix—I am fortunate enough to always have him right nearby—and I feel like the luckiest women in the world.
What is your go-to work outfit?
It almost always starts with a great structured jacket, then I build my outfit around it, usually by adding a soft layering tee and a crisp pair of wide-leg trousers or jeans. Obviously, the finishing touch is going to be a crazy tall pair of heels and an overload of accessories.
How did you get this job?Did you always know you wanted it?
I think the job kind of created itself. I was glamour obsessed from the womb, so it was inevitable that I would work in fashion.
What did you do before you started your company/freelance career?
I was on staff as a stylist at YM magazine…before that I was a hostess at a restaurant, where I met Rodger. ☺
What’s the best part of your job? The worst?
The best part of my job is that I am truly living out my dream while staying consistently challenged. Also, I get to work alongside an incredible team and am constantly meeting the most amazing, talented individuals. The worst part is that there are no set hours, so it is hard for me to ever stop and take a break.
How important is having a fashionable/chic work area?
It is everything. I am a very visual person so I need to feel inspired and comforted by whatever space I am in…if I see clutter, I get distracted.
Do you email or use the phone more?
Our whole company definitely operates on e-mail—it is more efficient. However, one can never underestimate the power of a phone call.
What surprises you the most about your career?
I think I surprise myself by constantly discovering new passions and interests, and setting new goals. Also, I am constantly surprised, challenged and inspired by working with my husband and our ever-growing team.
What changes do you make to your look if you have to go to dinner or drinks immediately after work?
Easy! Add a bold red lip and mascara, swap out my daybag for a sleek clutch and possibly climb into even higher heels.
What items do you think every working girl should own (clothing and accessories)?
A tuxedo jacket and trouser pants, a bow-tie blouse, a chic work bag, classic pumps, and a statement watch.
Do you use a Mac or a PC? (or Blackberry or iPhone?)
Is that a question? Mac girl all the way. For a phone, I rely on a Blackberry because I find it easier to send e-mails on, but I also love my iPad.
What do you listen to when you’re working?
The Beatles, U2, The Grateful Dead, Madonna
What are you wearing today?
The Hutton tuxedo pant from my fall collection – ask anybody I seriously live in these! The Connie top from my resort line, it’s a lighter spin on the Natalie from fall – the perfect layering piece. A vintage Chanel blazer – I bought this at Decades Inc probably 5 years ago and I’m still completely obsessed! Oh and Givenchy boots.
What do you try to teach your interns/assistants?
To work hard, trust their gut, and believe anything is possible.
Have you fulfilled your career goal or do you still have more to achieve?
I have fulfilled many career goals, the most crucial one being designing a line, but that truly just begins a whole new set of aspirations—so I will always have more to achieve. I prefer it that way, more is more!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to emulate your career path?
Intern wherever you can, work harder than anyone else and handle criticism well. Take each job very seriously, show up early and stay late, smile and appreciate every opportunity. If you are ever discouraged, remind yourself of all the reasons why you love what you do, and most importantly, have fun. Fashion is fun!