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Bravotv.com: Are you excited for tonight’s premiere?
Rachel Zoe: I am! I think it’s a really good episode.
So we’ll start with Taylor, I know, painful subject…
She’s a big part of the premiere. So what happened? We know the books didn’t add up, but can you go into any more detail?
We have to be really careful about it. I think what I would say is that not much shocks me in my life, but this is one of the things that has really shocked me the most in my life and my career, for sure.
Roger was saying that when he spoke to her that she had no emotion, did you speak to her after that?
Nope, we have not spoken. Our relationship is no longer.
But what does that mean for your business?
You know my business is actually better off for it. Brad stepped into the role of Style Director immediately. He rose to the occasion, he took charge, and really just showed me what he can do. Brad and I have always had a close relationship and now there is nothing stopping us from being as close as we are. And basically Brad and I just became stronger, and Jordan really started to rise up and follow through as a real stylist and not just an assistant. All the responsibilities shifted to Brad and Jordan, and Brad and Jordan are super close, like brother and sister. And we just have a really happy work environment, everyone works extremely hard and laughs all day. There are no fights, there are no slamming doors, there is no negative energy anywhere, which is quite wonderful. It’s almost like I forgot what it’s like to have a work environment like that.
I do believe everything happens for a reason, even though it was a really tough moment for me in my life. I obviously couldn’t deal with it very well, so Rodger had to, and thankfully now that we have him as a part of our company, he can deal with this stuff much better than I can. I’m way too emotional for it. I was way too close with Taylor.
At the end of last season, we finally saw Rodger kind of come on and take a more active role in Zoe Inc.
Yeah, and you’ll see that all season. He’s really my partner, you know? My company is really solid, and we just have a great time and everybody just works for a cause, you know what I mean? And there is a huge amount of trust within my company, and the infrastructure is really solid, and there is just an incredible system. We’re like a well-oiled machine now.
Last season we were waiting to see if Brad would really come through in the end, and we see in the first episode he’s a little nervous about his new role. Did you worry at all that his new role would be too much for him?
I honestly didn’t. The thing is that I always knew what Brad was capable of. Since Taylor was there for four years she had seniority, and I also saw that he was kind of suppressed in a way. He couldn’t show me what he could really do. I always loved him and trusted him and all of that, but he really just did it, just went full steam ahead, took no prisoners and took charge, and it has just worked out so great. It goes along with the biggest lesson of my career, everything happens for a reason. Unfortunately I learn a lot of lessons the hard way, like we all do. It’s hard to predict things and see things coming. Sometimes things just have to happen, and they have to hit you in the face. You gotta get hurt, and it’s just an unfortunate situation. But my team has never been stronger. And there are always going to be people who come and go, but at the end of the day it’s how you go, and why you go, and are you forced to go. There’s a way to do things with class and grace and it’s no secret that that’s not how Taylor felt.
What were you thinking when your friend called you and said that your reps were now representing Taylor?
That was one of my best friends, Michelle, who’s a producer. I think that taking the high road is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my career. I think that sometimes you just don’t want to take the high road. As a human being instinctively you want to just scream the truth at the top of your lungs and you can’t. You can, but at what price, and what are you going to gain? What I’d gain is inner peace, but at the same time why cause more drama? At the end of the day I do have an incredible husband that has always lived by the mantra, "Karma is a bitch, and it always comes back around." And it has already and it will continue to do so. And I just have to kind of look to faith at this point and say at some point everyone will figure out the truth, you know? They don’t have to hear it from me.
With Taylor gone, you had to look for a new assistant. What was that interview process like?
It was kind of funny because I haven’t looked for a new team member in like three years. You don’t really know what’s out there until you start looking, and you kind of realize what people think a stylist is, and what it takes to become a stylist. And I think there’s a huge misconception of what that is. And so my most important thing was that I don’t need someone that brings drama to my team, I don’t need someone who has the best style. What I want is someone who is honest, loyal, and can do the job. What I had to do was find someone who wasn’t green and had experience in doing that. And that was the most important thing, because Brad and I really didn’t have time to train somebody. It’s very hard to find somebody. So it was definitely an interesting process.
So what did people think the position was?
I was pretty honest with them, I told them they were taking up a first assistant job or at least equal to that. And I wanted to know that they could travel with clients, that they knew how to behave with actors, and what to do and how to travel on press tours and all of that. So it was very difficult.
But you found Ashley.
I did find Ashley, I did find Ashley. She’s awesome and she is really good at her job. I don’t want to give away too much, that what I really needed was someone to help during our very busy time. Jordan just really rose to the occasion and started to really become a star.
In this episode we have the big Demi shoot for Harper’s Bazaar, do you want to talk a little about that? I know Brad was worried about the Marc Jacobs bloomers, and then they didn’t come with all the pieces…
Well what happens very often with stylists and fashion editors is that we’re all competing for one collection. And what happens sometimes, when it’s not coming from the showroom, is they send the look incomplete, which is kind of a nightmare.
Do they ever do it on purpose?
No no, it’s just that when it’s not coming straight from the designer or PR group, sometimes you just get it in piecemeal and it’s kind of a nightmare. So when we got that look I was kind of like, “Oh my god, she’s gonna be half naked!” But that happens all the time. When things come from another shoot you just don’t know how they’re going to arrive. There could be an intern who just started who’s packing it up and didn’t realize there are five pieces to the look. You just never know. So that was tricky, very tricky. But it was an amazing shoot, amazing shoot.
And it worked out with the Carolina Herrera instead.
It did, it really worked with the Carolina Herrera. And obviously there was the giraffe, which was a first for me.
Was it the weirdest shoot you’ve ever been on?
I don’t know if that was the weirdest. I don’t want to say it was insane, but maybe surreal. There we were sitting on the beach with this spiral staircase and in walks this sixteen-foot giraffe. Demi is like in Alexander McQueen with these 10-inch armadillo shoes. It actually turned out to be a few weeks before the passing of Alexander McQueen. It was one of those things where it was already going to be one of those iconic shots between the giraffe, and the beach, and her outfit, and then when Alexander McQueen passed away, it was just like, “Oh my god!” It was crazy.
Does his passing come up at all in this season?
Yeah, it does. It actually happens in episode three or four.
What was it like to work with a giraffe?
Haha, the things we do for fashion and art are unbelievable. It was ridiculous. But that’s the best part about the job. That’s what I love about my job, you just never know what you’re going to be doing. And I think that was just one of those moment when I was like, “I love my job!”
So you had someone carry you this episode…
Yeah, I made the mistake of wearing seven-inch platforms, not realizing that I was going to be walking on the beach. When you get ready for a shoot at six in the morning you don’t think, “Oh, I better bring my beach shoes,” you know?
Last season we heard Demi on the phone, but this was the first season that we actually saw you with her as her stylist. You were saying how fearless she is, so when you style her, what do you generally go with? You said she like navies.
You know, Demi is just one of the most incredible women, she just is. You can’t explain it, but there’s just this thing about Demi. I’ve known her so many years now, we’re very close friends, and she has this energy, and strength, and confidence that’s not arrogance. She knows what she wants, she can’t really be swayed so much. She has a very definite opinion, but you respect it, you really listen to it, because she knows. She’s just the most incredible mother, she’s raised three incredible children and I just have so much respect for her. So when I’m working with Demi, we’re close enough at this point that I can joke around and be honest. So I’ll be like, “For the Oscars this year let’s not do black, let’s do pretty and soft,” and she’s like, “Ok…” But she’s incredible and she’s just as incredible as she is beautiful. She’s amazing and a very good person. When working with her, you always have what you think she will like, and you have what you think she may not like but you think will definitely work on her, and she’s very open-minded in that way. And let’s face it, there’s not much she doesn’t look good in.
What do the fans have to look forward to this season?
Well a lot of my clients are on it this season. There are a lot of outfits this season. It’s very honest. There’s a lot fashion access. So many great people this season. You see Kate Hudson, Gwen Stefani (who isn’t my client, but they’re friends, and she’s incredible in it), Naomi Campbell, and Johnny Weir. There are a lot of great cameos this year. And we go to Milan, and we do Paris, we do the Golden Globes, the Oscars, that whole thing, and sometimes I’m like I can’t believe we’re showing this again to the audience! But it follows the cycle of my life, and we’d actually have to stop filming not to do it. So it is what it is. Personally it’s my favorite season. I think it’s fantastic. There’s a great energy, and we don’t have that drama that we’ve had between Brad and Taylor or me and Taylor. But to me it’s a refreshing, new, very organic kind of environment that we work in, and it’s really just great. Of course there’s drama, but the drama lies in other very organic things as opposed to people fighting within the team, which is just very refreshing.