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Professional Vs. Personal

Rachel Zoe discusses her relationship with her husband Rodger Berman.

By Rachel Zoe You worked on a Japanese photo shoot in this episode. How did you get involved in doing international spreads?

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Rachel Zoe: I have tremendous support from Asia in general, but Japan in particular. The Japanese have been unbelievably kind and supportive to me throughout my whole career, and they've been especially great in the past four years. Whether it's featuring me in a magazine or doing a profile, they contribute quite a bit. A big magazine there is Vogue Nippon and they've given me a tremendous amount of support. I'm very grateful to them. I was approached to do a shoot for Glamorous Magazine, which is one of the biggest publications there and it's all about fashion, pop-culture, and style. They asked that I transform Jessica, the model, into an L.A. style icon who defines quintessential Los Angeles style. Glamorous Magazine asked that I style the shoot and participate in the shoot as well. It was the first time I got to be involved in both aspects, and it was a lot of fun. Jessica was so sweet and beautiful. We got to do real, authentic L.A. 1960s, 70s style and we shot it on Rodeo Drive, which was hysterical.

What are some misconceptions about L.A. style?

What used to be considered L.A. fashion 10 years ago is really looked down upon now. I think it was that everybody was wearing LYCRA, showing midriffs, having plastic surgery and fake hair. Things have changed - L.A. has developed a real fashion community with a style of its own. L.A. is quite opposite from New York, but I think the city really has its own look and its own energy. I think that people around the world are really taking a lot of input from California style now. People forget that a lot of the American style out of the 1960s and 70s came from L.A., and that's important to recognize.

Your sister comes to visit in this episode. What is your relationship like with her?

My sister is my best friend in the entire world. She's three years older and she has two children, who are like my own children. I'm a super-aunt. I'd stop everything going on in my life for my niece and nephew. They're the most important things in the world to me. There's nothing I wouldn't do for them. My sister knows me better than anyone - she's a sounding board for me. We live completely different lives, but somehow we really understand each other so well and it just works. She gives me an incredible amount of support and she doesn't miss anything. If it's an important night in L.A. for me, she's on a plane and she's there. She's amazing. Unfortunately for me, she lives in Florida.

We see you shopping in H&M with your sister. Rachel Zoe in H&M?

My sister is on a very limited budget, and has been for a while. She's a single mom and got divorced a couple years ago. She had a big career before she had kids and she put that aside for some time and now she's working again. Her priority is her children, as it should be. When she comes to see me I'm always about giving her that moment. It's all about, "Get off the plane. Let's get your hair and make-up done. Let's go shopping." I give her all my hand-me-downs too. I'd say that 90 percent of what she wears was mine at some point. Nothing makes me happier than seeing her happy. I love buying her presents and she really appreciates it. She is a mommy and it's a very different life, but she also need to look hot. I think H&M is right on trend and it's one of those things where you go there and you can afford to look great all the time.

You also get some bad news from her in the episode about your uncle's passing. You make the choice not to go to his funeral. How did you make that decision?

That was one of the worst days of my life. My aunt and uncle are actually my great aunt and uncle, my mom's aunt and uncle. My aunt Sylvia and uncle Jerry basically really helped to raise me. They lived five minutes away from me when I grew up in Short Hills, they picked me up from school, they baby-sat me, and they really were instrumental in raising my sister and I when my parents weren't around. I truly believe to this day that they were sainted at birth. They are the most giving, kind people I have ever known in my life. They are the most selfless people I've ever known. My aunt is 90 years old and she works 7 volunteer jobs every day. My uncle was a Vietnam vet and he got a Purple Heart in the war. They were the most amazing people in the world. Actually, the day that my uncle passed away was the day he received the Purple Heart for Iwo Jima. I had seen my uncle a week before in New York and I kind of had a feeling it would be the last time I saw him. He had gotten very sick. I struggled with going to the funeral and I wanted to be there more than anything. One of the horrible things about living so far from your family is that when crisis happens, it's not so easy to be there. It was probably one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, but when I told my aunt I was going to come and cancel everything, she got furious with me. She said that my uncle would never, ever want me to drop everything and give up my responsibilities to be there and she said she would have been mad at me if I had going. But as soon as that week ended, I got on a plane and I went and spent several days with my aunt. All of it was horrible and there is no way to make it better and I was tormented. I came undone. I'm a very emotional person and I don't let that show too often because I always have to be the strong one. Just yesterday a Sarah McLachlan commercial for animal rescue came on. I mean, there are these abused animals and I'm hysterically crying. Rodger's like, 'what's wrong with you?' In a work environment, I feel I always have to be the strong one. When it comes to something personal like my family, I just can't keep myself together. Regretfully, I didn't keep myself together in this episode, and I felt like I looked really hideous! When I think back to that episode, it's clear I did not know the camera was on, because I obviously checked my vanity at the door.

Your dad visits you in this episode. He's a very stylish man.

My parents are very stylish. They've always been very ahead. They had this mid-century modern furniture and contemporary art since I was a kid and I never appreciated it until now.

Rodger has a work event and is unable to join you two for dinner. That really upset you, didn't it?

The reason that I was so upset was because of my uncle's death. I really needed Rodger at that time. Rodger and my father are very close. Rodger is very close with both of my parents. It was one of those things where I knew he had a work dinner, but I really needed him. My dad was here for one night only and he never comes to L.A. Of course I respect Rodger's business and his work dinner, but I was just really emotional. Normally I don't care about those things, because Rodger goes to work dinners three nights a week, but I was really falling apart. At that moment, I just couldn't handle being let down.

You celebrated your 10-year anniversary in this episode. You wanted a party, but Taylor didn't really want to deal with planning another event.

Taylor's never psyched to deal with anything like that. She always reminds me that we're too busy.

Did you ever get to have a party?

We had a party in September, which combined our birthdays and our anniversary. I actually threw him a surprise birthday party this past Saturday night. We had about 50 people and he was totally shocked. It was amazing. He thought he was going to a Dolce & Gabbana event, but it was actually his surprise party. It was so much fun.

Your dad also talks to you about prioritizing. What advice did you get from him?

My dad's always right. My dad's my biggest supporter. Like Rodger, he'll always call me out. When I asked him about going to the funeral, he kind of agreed that I didn't need to go that minute, because I had just seen him. But it was hard. It was really hard.

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