When I found out I was going to interview Rachel Zoe, my first thought was, "What should I wear"? That was quickly followed by, "I hope she likes what I wear!" A celebrity stylist who’s become her own celebrity / business mogul (Rachel may have been exaggerating when she said she’s got 18 jobs, but she really does wear as many hats as she probably owns), you’d expect to get a once over when you walk in the room. I did that to her! Rachel is petite like me but somehow can pull off chunky pearl hoop earrings. And her signature big fur, or faux fur (not sure) jacket was draped just so over her black jumpsuit. Honestly, I didn’t feel any eyes burning into me, but, she did give me props for coordinating my outfit with the colors of DreamDry, her blowout bar that just opened in Chicago. For the record, the fact that my Kate Spade Saturday cardigan is black and gold was a total coincidence, not a suckup move. By the way, it’s on sale here!
During my 20 minutes with Rachel and her DreamDry co-founder Robin Moreates, we chatted about beauty, mom stuff, style, her reality show (Rachel did put E! Fashion Police co-host Brad Goreski on the map) and more. It was technically an interview, but Rachel was so far from snobby, judgy or aloof, it felt more like a fun conversation between friends. I mean, we ended up talking about if she’s going to have another baby! Read on to find out. She also shared her favorite beauty products and places to shop for her kids, but you’ll have to stay tuned for her answers to those questions because we covered so many topics, I had to break our chat into two parts. Here’s part one of my sit-down with Rachel and Robin.
P.S. As famous as Rachel is for her talent, she’s just as known for her Zoe-isms like calling a dress "bahnanas." To give you a true sense of what it was like to hang with Rachel, watch the video for the interview highlights.
How did you guys get together to come up with DreamDry. I’m sure you get this asked all of the time but how…
Rachel: We do! It’s a really romantic love story.
TBG: Aww, that’s sweet.
Rachel: It was love at first sight and amazing. She came in, and…
Robin: It was good…it was a good moment.
Rachel: We’ve met a number of people and then Robin came into our office in LA and it was just like, there’s something so amazing about her. Her background was incredible. She’s incredibly dynamic and charismatic. Someone who is really going to lead this type of endeavor has to be in it, love it, passionate about it, believe in it, use it. And I think you know as someone who really has mentors and really believes in powerful women and intelligent women in business, because I feel like we can take over the world. I think when you meet someone like Robin, for me, I just got really excited because I think putting another woman in a position of power and leadership and she’s been so extraordinary, it just makes such perfect sense. And she loves it. She literally eats, sleeps, and breathes DreamDry all day.
Robin: DreamDry’s my child.
Rachel: It really is. And I was going to say that and I was like “maybe I shouldn’t say that.” And I said, “Do you have kids?” and she’s like “DreamDry”.
Robin: Yup. And I buy my child light fixtures and mirrors…
Rachel: I’m working on it though. I’m trying to make her have a real one.
Robin: By the way, this is a record, it’s been like two hours and she hasn’t mentioned it yet…
Rachel: I’m a baby pusher… I thought we would get through the night and then I would push.
Robin: Thank you, thank you…Let me at least have a drink first and then we can go there.
Nicole: That’s so funny.
Rachel: You have no idea.
Nicole: Well it’s like once you catch the bug it’s hard to make the decision…
Rachel: I want like 6 of them.
Robin: Yup okay.
Nicole: Well, is the shop still open? For you?
Rachel: I don’t know we’ll see, we’ll see.
Nicole: Well you’re saying you want 6 but…
Rachel: If I didn’t have 18 jobs I would have 6 children, for sure.
Nicole: Okay that’s fair. I love that you bring the glam lifestyle into DreamDry. Do you have any tips for bringing the glam lifestyle into your own life? With the kids and everything?
Rachel: **Holds up DreamDry box** Do you have one?
Nicole: I don’t have this yet, but I saw that you guys created the dryer.
Rachel: I think the idea…the mantra in my career has always been helping women live a life filled with glamour and how you do that DIY and how you don’t have to be famous, you don’t have to be a VIP, you don’t have to be wealthy. It doesn’t matter. Every woman can look and feel beautiful all of the time. And DreamDry obviously supports that 100%, and I think I’ve always been about teaching women how to do things at home whether it’s styling tips with their clothes, beauty, whatever it is and with DreamDry that’s the idea. It’s like everyone can have a blow dry, you know everyone can have a $500 spa experience and really just…your hair looks good and you feel good and you have more confidence, and I firmly believe that. If you’re having a bad hair day, unless you put a hat on, you’re constantly walking with your head down. You know?
Robin: And this helps bring it home. These are the dryers that we use in the salon and they’re faster, they’re quicker, they’re quieter, they’re better than anything out there. They’re absolutely amazing, handmade, made in France. We’ve like spent the past 8 months literally testing hair dryers. FedEX thinks I’m like a hairdryer cartel. We’re sending them back and forth to LA. Something like that. But these are life changing. They represent everything that we do in a little black box.
Nicole: I’m excited to try it. And regarding what you were saying with your mantra…so you were obviously born with this instinct that you know how to style a look. You have it. What about the rest of us who we get inspiration from you but don’t have that instinct where we look at our closet and it’s like okay…how do I pair these tights with this skirt? You know?
Rachel: Then you go to the ZoeReport.com! (laughs).
Rachel: But really, as the editor in chief of the Zoe Report that’s literally what we do day in and day out. I sit there with my edit team every day and we talk about how we can service our reader. How can we explain how to do this. How can we take this image and break it down in a way that everyone can relate to and that everyone can do it themselves. I’m never about inaccessibility. I’m always about teaching people and educating people because style is something that can in fact be learned 100% and once you kind of play with it and find your happy place or comfort zone it becomes extremely easy. You know, it’s just that you got to put a little effort in, some people more than others. But you kind of have to do the trial and error and really use the person in your life that you trust the most. And then you’ll know when you look good. People are always like “well how do I know if I look good?” It’s not just looking in the mirror. It’s how you feel, it’s the people that you know and love the most and what are they telling you.
Nicole: So when you walk into a closet is there something that you tell somebody? When you walk into your closet where do you begin?
Rachel: You have to have a go-to uniform. You have to have your black dress. You have to have your shoe that you know always looks good and thins your legs. You have to know your go-to black blazer that you can throw over everything or your leather jacket, your pumps, or your jumpsuit. Whatever it is. For me, a little black dress is often a jumpsuit. So whatever your version of “I know I look good in this” and if I have 10 minutes and I’m going to a dinner or an event or a party, whatever it is, I know this looks good. I know that these 3 jackets work with everything. I know that if I throw these on with a t-shirt, jeans, and a cute pair of shoes then I’ll look good. Don’t overthink it. And don’t be upset and frustrated. Fashion is fun. Style is fun. We’re not saving lives, it’s just fun.
Nicole: So speaking of that, how did your reality show start?
Rachel: How’d it start? It started with the idea of me wanting to get into the minds of designers and wanting to create an insider look at the fashion world because people were constantly asking me “What are designers like? What’s it like at a fashion show? What’s it like to make clothes? What’s it like to talk to designers? What’s it like to work with models?” So for me it started as something that was solely supposed to be about fashion and designers. Nothing about me and nothing about my personal life. But, then I think when things hit television they just take on a new life and you know really that was it. It just kind of happened very organically really and ultimately became about business and growing my brand. And you know it just turned into something completely different.
Nicole: So you originally pitched it? Or were you approached?
Rachel: It was a hybrid of things. I feel like it was a decade ago.
Robin: It just happens.
Rachel: Yeah, it really just happens to be honest.
Nicole: So do you guys have any favorite places in Chicago that you’ve been?
Rachel: This is my third time here in my whole life.
Rachel: And I’ve never been here for more than 48 hours.
Robin: Hopefully that’s going to change
Rachel: But I do love SOHO house, thus far it’s been incredible for the past…5 hours.
Robin: The whole little area around SOHO house. I mean Girl and the Goat is one of my favorite restaurants, Stephanie Izard’s amazing. And you know Lincoln Park…just everything. I used to spend my summers in Chicago with my grandparents. I literally lived here every summer while I was growing up and I went to day camp in Lincoln Park.
Nicole: You did?!
Robin: Oh yeah. So this is like my second home.
Nicole: So is that what brought…
Robin: It’s part of it. It’s obviously not the whole reason. I mean there are so many reasons.
Rachel: **laughing** There are so many people that had to make this decision.
Robin: It didn’t hurt at all because I mean, having roots here and really understanding Chicago is really what It’s all about.
Rachel: We didn’t know this city and Robin really knew it, and she’s so spot on with her instinct about the location and stuff. And when we talk to people from Chicago, they’re like “oh my god that’s the best area for it” so.
Robin: I knew. I had spent time on this street [Armitage Ave.] forever ago and right off Michigan avenue, it’s great. Chicago’s amazing. I love the neighborhood.
Rachel: Chicago’s such a beautiful city.
Robin: It’s from the gold coast to river north. They all have something different and that’s what I love about it. I just think it’s awesome.
Rachel: It’s Oprah’s city.
Nicole: Now it’s DreamDry’s city.
Rachel: Exactly now it’s DreamDry’s city.
Nicole: Well, thank you so much you guys. I really appreciate it.
Robin & Rachel: Thank you!