Power stylist and Bravo reality star Rachel Zoe, who is 9 months pregnant and due this month, opens up about a number of things in her latest interview with the Hollywood Reporter.
Rachel, 39, star of The Rachel Zoe Project, who has dressed everyone from Anne Hathaway to Cameron Diaz, discusses her extraordinary rise from stylist to the stars to becoming a brand name. “I’m not sure that most people can name another stylist,” says Rodger Berman, her husband of 13 years and the president of Rachel Zoe Inc. since July.
Rachel’s Budding Empire – The Rachel Zoe Inc company employs 14 full-time staffers who manage The Zoe Report, her daily digital newsletter with a readership of 250,000; the Rachel Zoe Collection, a contemporary line launching in the fall with licensing partner Li & Fung at such stores as Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman (prices range from $250-$700); and The Rachel Zoe Project, her Bravo reality show that drew 1.1 million viewers to its Season 3 finale (up 31 percent from the previous year; the show is due to return in the fall).
Humble Beginnings – Rachel has come a long way since her first job as a fashion assistant in New York at the now-defunct YM magazine (her salary: $18,000). She went freelance at 25 and began styling for the likes of Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys from a one-bedroom West Village apartment. “I worked 20-something hours a day, seven days a week,” says Rachel. “I was completely obsessed with fashion and spent all my money flying to Paris to go to couture because that was the dream. I crashed shows, stood in line for Marc Jacobs. Designers were my heroes and my celebrities. It hasn’t really worn off.”
Rachel’s Growing Fortune – Today, she now earns up to $10,000 per styling job, along with an estimated $50,000 an episode for her Bravo reality show. Revenue from her product lines and add her styling earnings, and Zoe is easily clearing seven figures, but Rodger says he’s only recently felt like he can breathe a little easier. “Last year was the first time when I felt like, ‘OK, we’re not gonna go bankrupt.’ But, ‘Mo’ money, mo’ problems.’ To my wife, it just means she can spend more.”
Rachel On Fame – “I never wanted to be famous,” says Rachel,who grew up in Short Hills, N.J. “A stylist is a behind-the-scenes job,” she says. “I’m never a star when I’m with a star — ever. Back then, I was very insecure about that. Even now, if you watch me on a red carpet, I’m physically uncomfortable. I can’t strike a good pose to save my life. Fortunately and unfortunately, it’s a part of brand-building. It’s just part of my job.” “Rachel is an expert in her field, at the top of her game, and she’s addictive to watch,” Andy Cohen says. “The other star of The Rachel Zoe Project is the fashion,” he adds. “But as you go deeper into any reality show, more colors of the rainbow start to come out.” Like her slang, which includes the stupefied “I die” and the exultant “Ah-mazing.” Says Cohen, “The Zoe-isms are bananas.”
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