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.
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?
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.
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.]