Rachel Zoe on Her Late-Night Shopping Habits and the One Thing She’ll Never Wear

Rachel Zoe

Rachel Zoe

Rachel Zoe has changed a lot in the nearly eight years since her star-making reality show, “The Rachel Zoe Project,” first aired on Bravo. She’s had two sons, Skyler and Kaius; launched a fashion line full of her signature haute boho maxidresses, fringed jackets, and flared pants; written books; and hosted her own talk show, “Fashionably Late with Rachel Zoe,” which premiered last September.

She’s also partnered with Downy—yes, the fabric softener (which has recently rebranded as a fabric conditioner as part of a marketing effort to align laundry with a two-step hair-care process)—and has spent the last few months diving deep into the world of fabric care, attending “laundry school” at parent company Procter & Gamble’s Cincinnati, Ohio, headquarters, and designing a handful of machine-washable pieces to include in her namesake line.

“Really, number one was that I really liked the pieces and that I wasn’t just doing them because they were washable,” says Zoe, “but that they were things that could really work into the life and the style of the women that I know, that I’m surrounded by, that inspire me, and that I want to appeal to.” For Fall 2016, this includes a navy fringe dress and matching vest, both 100-percent cashmere—which, yes, can be machine-washable—a 100-percent silk marble-print dress, and a white blouse in a silk/cotton blend.

Rachel Zoe Fall 2016

Rachel Zoe Fall 2016

What always made Zoe so compelling on the small screen was her sheer enthusiasm for fashion—she didn’t just love dresses, she died for them; an outfit wasn’t just great, it was bananas. Even now that motherhood has made her considerably more serene, she’s still liable to get a little worked up at the mention of a new purchase or coveted bag, as we found out last week when we hopped on the phone to talk shop.

STYLECASTER: With all of the styling you’ve done over the years, do you remember the biggest dry-cleaning bill you ever racked up?
Rachel Zoe: No! Oh God, no. [Laughs] I mean, there have been very exorbitant ones. I worked on music videos for a long time, where we would just have to constantly wash things in the machine or dry-clean, and either way it was just insane. But, you know, I like washing things at home because you can kind of monitor it and control it—sometimes you want to wash something more to give it a more worn-in effect.

What are you most excited for this spring, fashion-wise?
For spring, I cannot wait to wear all my mosaic-printed things, I can’t wait to wear fringe, I can’t wait to wear more lace. In L.A., it’s kind of spring all year, but I’m excited to wear a lot of my newest things: lace, fringe, ruffles, color.…

What was the last thing you bought?
The last thing I bought? Hmm, probably a Burberry shearling cropped jacket.

What are some of your favorite accounts to follow on Instagram?
Honestly, I love following my friends, just because they post photos of kids all the time. I love following certain designers, like Riccardo Tisci, just because it’s beautiful imagery all the time. I love following Marc Jacobs because he’s so funny. Those are the ones that excite me. Also my friends in Europe, because I love seeing where they are.

What’s one thing you’ll never wear?
Short shorts.

Who’s a celebrity today whose style you really admire?
I think Rosie Huntington-Whiteley always looks amazing. She doesn’t ever look like she tries too hard, but she always looks flawless. And I find that in her off-duty life as well as her red carpet.

Do you use any shopping apps?
I do. I use Net-A-Porter like it’s the end of the world, and I use 1stDibs—very much, yes, I do.

What have you bought on 1stDibs? I love browsing around on there.
Oh my God, I just bought a vintage Givenchy dress that put me in the best mood on a Saturday night at midnight.

Is that usually when you like to shop?
Yes, I shop when I put my kids to sleep, and I finish checking all my emails, and then I just kind of do all my damage at that point.

Is it like a Zen experience for you?
Yeah, I mean it’s exciting always—although sometimes it will keep me awake because I get really excited about it.

Do you follow auctions on eBay?
No, because that you really have to stay on, and I’m kind of too busy. Like, I feel like that’s almost a full-time job.

Where do you like to shop for your kids?
Everywhere, everywhere. I love this store called Eggy here in L.A. I love Ralph Lauren Kids. I love Burberry Kids. I love this site called Smallable.

If money wasn’t a factor, what would you buy right now?
Oh God. If money wasn’t a factor? Probably the alligator Altuzarra bag with all the tassels. [Ed note: Said bag costs $28,000, but is, sadly, out of stock.]

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