For the past 15 years, celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe has launched a clothing line and style subscription service, authored two books, starred on a Bravo reality show, and started a lifestyle website.
But when she began dressing Hollywood stars like Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, Mischa Barton and Cameron Diaz in the 2000s, Zoe never thought she would become a household name herself.
“When I first started styling, I didn’t talk about a client unless I talked to the client and their publicist, their manager and their agent. I wouldn’t even mention that I knew them or worked with them, ”Zoe told Page Six Style as she talked about her partnership with Tanqueray.
“To be honest, I was accidentally pulled forward. The media was just starting to notice some of the people I was working with, wondering, “Hey, why is she in full glory to go to Coffee Bean?” or ‘Why does she look good when she goes to the airport?’ “
In this pre-social media era, the fashion firm added, it was “very comfortable” staying behind the scenes; even after the premiere of “The Rachel Zoe Project” in 2008, she remembered “panic attacks” when asking clients like Kate Hudson for short cameos.
Rachel Zoe (far left in the picture) became a household name for styling stars like Lindsay Lohan, Mischa Barton and Nicole Richie.WireImage
“I think maybe in the past it should look like everyone is getting dressed and there was no hair, makeup, and styling,” Zoe remarked. “The glam squad knew how to stay behind.”
Suffice it to say that for the past decade the curtain has been raised. Today – and not least thanks to Zoe paving the way – many of Hollywood’s top stylists, make-up artists, and hair gurus have huge Instagram followers and their own brands. They even appear frequently on their clients’ social media posts.
“It’s a perfectly normal, understandable thing where talent is part of the world of the glam team,” explained Zoe. “They support their hair products, their makeup brands, their clothing brands, their YouTube videos. You post on social media and tag everyone. It’s a completely different time. “
Despite her busy schedule, Rachel Zoe always makes time for a cocktail – like her favorite drink Tanqueray Sevilla Orange and lemonade.Tanqueray
The way A-listers dress for big events has also evolved, with many shying away from the risky style statements of yore (think Nicole Kidman in Chartreuse John Galliano for Dior at the 1997 Oscars, or even Bjork’s swan dress from 2001 ) in favor of nicer but more predictable fashion foods.
“The red carpet is probably played a little safer now. I see more clients wearing a designer [from head to toe] – I think there is more business there, ”Zoe said, referring to how fashion houses formally work with stars and then dress them exclusively during the awards season.
“That’s what people don’t always know when they talk about fashion: they see the glamor and they see the pictures and they see the carpet, but in the end, fashion is more than anything else a business.”
Some of Rachel Zoe’s biggest hits: Cameron Diaz in Chanel Haute Couture at the 2009 Golden Globes, Anne Hathaway in Armani Privé 2011 in the same show, and Eva Mendes in Dior at the 2009 Globes.Getty Images
But the designer quickly realized that there was still plenty of room for fashion fun on the red carpet.
“Now and then you really have someone who really owns [their look] and knows how to do it yourself, ”she said. “I even know a certain actress who literally makes her own glamor.”
It really all depends on the unique relationship between a stylist and their client – and that hasn’t changed a bit over the years.
“Stylists play very different roles with different people,” Zoe told us. “Sometimes they’re more of a personal shopper, sometimes they’re there to present options, and sometimes they’re there to literally do anything.”
Tanqueray Sevilla Orange is available now, as are the brand’s new canned cocktails.
Rachel Zoe, pictured here in 2018, has been a fashion figure for well over a decade.Getty Images