“I have this obsession with what women wear in Russia,” said Rachel Zoe, as she fluffed an ivory fur hood atop a mile-high model wrapped head to toe in Zoe’s fall collection. “The funny thing is that I don’t know because I’ve never been there. But it’s what I dream about.”
As anyone who has followed Zoe’s rise from Jersey girl to Los Angeles stylist to television star to brand now knows, she’s not one to sit back and imagine the possibilities. She makes them happen, which is why her sprawling, semi-raw showroom on the 32nd floor of 1400 Broadway in New York is filled with a staff of at least 10, as well as her 10-month-old son, a nanny, a publicist and, of course, racks and racks of samples from the Rachel Zoe Collection, which, for fall, includes two new categories: cold weather accessories and costume jewelry. All that’s missing is a camera crew. “We’re not filming, which is major,” said Zoe, referring to her Bravo television show “The Rachel Zoe Project,” which as of yet has not been renewed for season five.
The jewelry is a no-brainer. It’s been a key component in Zoe’s look since the public first laid eyes on her circa 2004 when she was in her Bohemian phase, decked in big sunglasses, a floor-length caftan, with multiple vintage cocktail rings on her fingers. “I’m a hand-talker, so that’s what this is about,” said Zoe, holding up a ring. All Art Deco-inspired, the collection is done in gold-plated brass, with Swarovski crystals, reconstituted jade and onyx. There’s a tassel group that includes cuffs, earrings and a long necklace that can be tied a multitude of ways. Another series, which she’s calling “Love Me Knots,” features intertwining knots on hoop earrings, a cuff and necklace. Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman have already secured the exclusive on the launch of the jewelry, which is priced between $195 and $695, opting to sell the line in all of its doors and online.
The cold weather gear is not yet open to market. It includes hats, hoods, long skinny scarves lined in cashmere and fingerless leather gloves (long and short, some in quilted green leather, others in pony hair), along with hats, scarves, stoles and wrist warmers done in real — fox and rabbit — and faux fur. Zoe wanted to appeal to both those who have a moral (and budget) issue with fur and those who want the real deal. As for her decision to broach these winter accessories ($95-$1,500), Zoe said, “I’m someone who looks at my brand holistically. I go to style my show and I’m like, ‘I want hats. I want gloves. I want all these things. Okay, wait, I’m a designer now, so let’s do it.’”
A lot has happened since Zoe launched her collection, done in partnership with Li & Fung, a year ago. Ready-to-wear, shoes and bags were included from the get-go, all of it priced well within the contemporary market. If anyone was skeptical that a personality like Zoe could pull off product at a more elite level than mass — which she has covered with her QVC line — her retail presence is evidence to the contrary. Zoe’s collection is currently carried by about 250 stores worldwide, including Neiman Marcus, Saks, Selfridges and Nordstrom. Rick Darling, president of LF USA, said that the reception has exceeded expectations. “I think every brand has its own momentum. In the contemporary space, which is a bit newer to us as a company, I think this particular brand has taken off a lot quicker than we thought,” said Darling, who declined to give sales figures. “It’s really well ahead of where we thought we would be right now. In 2012, we’ll be in 350 to 400 doors, including a pretty significant international presence.”
That and the fact that Neiman Marcus swooped in for an exclusive is testament to the collection’s quality and execution, which is in tandem with Zoe’s name recognition factor, due in large part to her television show. Asked what the impact on her business would be if “The Rachel Zoe Project” does not return for a fifth season, Zoe said, “Honestly, you could tell me that better than I could. It’s been four seasons, it’s in 20 countries. Businessmen watch it, bankers, I get a lot of hits from a lot of different demos. So do I need it? I don’t know. After four years, maybe there’s something to be said for starting something new.”
Speaking of, in addition to RachelZoe.com, her various digital newsletters and her styling business, Zoe said she’s getting into the television producing game. “Rachel Zoe Productions,” she revealed. “But I can’t talk about that yet.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)