Stylist. Stylish. Wife. Mother. Entrepreneur.
Rachel Zoe, the Hollywood celebrity-stylist-turned-fashion-mogul, visited Coplon’s in Columbia Thursday. The Forest Drive high-end retailer was one of the many businesses destroyed during the October 2015 floods. Now, with the recent reopening of Coplon’s in its original location, store owner Bruce Greenberg was excited to not only have Zoe at the store, but facilitate her first visit to the Carolinas.
“We were one of the first stores to buy her collection,” said Greenberg. “When she heard about our flood and how devastated we were, she said she wanted to do something to help when we reopened, and so she came down. She’s never been to North or South Carolina.”
Some of the store’s top clients were invited to shop with Zoe and browse her fall and holiday collections. A preview of her spring collection was also on hand for pre-order.
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“She likes to meet the customers,” Greenberg said. “Especially to meet her Southern customers. These are all of our best clients and best friends. ... A lot of beautiful clothes and a lot of beautiful people.”
Zoe, who was just in Columbia for the day, talked with us about what inspires her fashion, finding balance as a working mom and when we’ll see her next on the small screen.
Rachel, I have to start with the obvious question: what brings you to Columbia, specifically to Coplon’s?
Zoe: “Coplon’s has been a supporter of my collection from my very first season,” she said. “I think at the end of the day you have to really be grateful to the people that really support you the most. I don’t do a ton of appearances at specialty stores but I came here because I felt it was time to say thank you for being so loyal. As a designer you go in and out of different seasons and some people support, some people drop you, then they come back. Coplon’s has been a tremendous support.”
Where are you drawing your style inspiration from these days?
Zoe: “I don’t veer that much from my roots, which is always grounded in the ‘60s and ‘70s,” she said. “Where you see the sparkles in the collection, it’s from the disco era, because I always feel like you need to dress up. There’s always metallic fringe and beading, things like that. But then there’s this other side of me that I have which is really polished and sophisticated. I want to be in a suit with a shirt with a little tie. I want to be a litte more serious.”
What are the items you’re recommending for fall?
Zoe: “For me I always need a suit,” she said. “The more pieces in the suit the better. I like a 3-piece because I like the ability to mix and match it with all the other things in your closet. I like wearing the jacket with a t-shirt and jeans. I like wearing the vest without the jacket. I like wearing the pants with a big oversized sweater or a t-shirt or a just a simple button up. I like the ability to get 20 looks out of one thing by mixing and matching.
“I love big chunky knit sweaters for Fall; they’re my favorite. I love winter white. Winter white pieces make me really happy. I would think here it’s great to wear winter white over black. I just feel like people love color here.”
You always seem to be involved in different projects. You have the Zoe Report, the Zoe Box of Style ... so what are you most excited about working on these days?
Zoe: “I really divide my time between my three businesses: being a designer and working on my collection, being editor-in-ehief of the Zoe Report and the box of style,” she said. “The box is almost 2 years old and we’ve just been doing so well with it and having such great success. I think the possibilites are endless as to what we’re going to do with the box of style and I can’t wait to keep doing that and do all different things with the boxes. Do specialty boxes. Cater them specifically to different things, different people and different ages; maybe men, kids, we’ll see.”
How has your life changed since becoming a wife and mom? How has it changed you as a designer?
Zoe: “It has changed in every possible way, for the best,” she said. “I think I have a way healthier approach to my life now. When you’re a working mother you are forced to take a breather. I don’t have any personal time but that’s fine because before I really didn’t have any either, I just worked. So now it’s work and my children. And my children are my life. They are my whole life. I work for different reasons now and my priorities have changed. Every decision is different. You think differently. I dress more practically unless I’m not with my children. I definitely have a uniform of tux pants and a jacket or jeans and a sweater; something that can work in both parts of my life throughout the day.”
Can we look forward to more “Fashionably Late with Rachel Zoe”?
Zoe: “Yes! Right now I have ‘Real life with Rachel Zoe’ on Sundays on my Insta story, just while we develop our next thing,” she said. “My viewers and customers were asking so much from the show we decided to put together a 2-minute Instagram story series every Sunday night that’s just a peak inside my life.”
Would you consider doing another reality show?
Zoe: “It’s hard to do (reality television) since I’ve had kids but we’re going to do something,” she said. “So the answer is yes I would, I just don’t know what.”
If you could style one celebrity living or dead, who would it be and why?
Zoe: “Brigitte Bardot. She’s my idol, why not? She was so gorgeous she didn’t even need clothes.”