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Rachel Zoe Dives Into Retail With First Stand-alone Store

We spoke with the designer/stylist about her new pop-up, e-commerce site and plans for Oscar night (she's not styling anyone). Needless to say, it was pretty maj.
Rachel Zoe's pop-up. Photo: Courtesy of Laurel & Wolf

Rachel Zoe's pop-up. Photo: Courtesy of Laurel & Wolf

Rachel Zoe is having a very busy February. In addition to launching her e-commerce website and showing her Old Hollywood-inspired fall 2016 collection at New York Fashion Week, the fashion multi-hyphenate became the creative director of Hudson BLVD Group, a portfolio of specialty beauty service brands including Pucker makeup salon, Spruce & Bond hair removal salon and Zoe's own DreamDry blowout salon.

And on Wednesday, Zoe unveils her first brick-and-mortar store: a pop-up at The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles which will be open through March 31. She joins a roster of celebrity-backed brands that have "popped up" at The Grove, including Nicole Richie’s House of Harlow and Jessica Alba’s Honest Beauty. Always meticulous when it comes to aesthetic details, the stylist partnered with Laurel & Wolf to design the store’s quintessentially Zoe interiors — think faceted marble tables, gold fixtures and textural fur details set against white brick walls.

Dedicated to her namesake collection, the store carries spring apparel, jewelry and shoes with prices ranging from $75 to $1,795. It will also sell exclusive pieces from Zoe’s Core Collection — a range of classic separates that Zoe calls "wardrobe builders." The store aims to provide a "360 degree experience" for customers including styling, beauty and gifting events with special appearances by Zoe and her team. We sat down with Zoe to talk about her new ventures, how her collection has evolved and her plans for Oscar Sunday.

In February alone you’ve announced Hudson BLVD, shown your collection at NYFW, launched an e-commerce site and opened a pop-up. How are you juggling it all?

It's been crazy. But you know what? It’s now or never, right? I say, "Let's just do it."

Rachel Zoe at her pop-up. Photo: Courtesy of Laurel & Wolf

Rachel Zoe at her pop-up. Photo: Courtesy of Laurel & Wolf

Did you always envision a Rachel Zoe store?

I think that the collection is now where I really want it to be. I kind of needed to take some time to get to the place where I understand who is my customer, who is the woman that I am designing for and what people want from me as a designer. I took some time to really get my feet wet, but I feel like now is the time for the store.

The launch of e-commerce and the pop-up together is so that people can start to really experience the world of the brand. Because I have a media business, we were able to do our e-commerce when we were ready. We have such unbelievable team—they're a dream come true.

The Grove is such an LA institution, and Rachel Zoe is such an LA brand. Is that why you decided to have your pop-up here?

That's it! It's really that so many people in my life spend so much time at The Grove. For me, it's an honor to be a part of it—women come to shop, they come to have lunch, they come to hang out, they go to the movies. But also it's a family destination, and I think — what a great thing that the kids can run around and have fun and the moms can come in and shop. I kept it very open and airy so that kids can run around in here and hide under the racks, but you can still see them. [Laughs.] Kid-friendly store, always.

Until how, the brand has mainly been available in department stores and multi-brand boutiques. Since this is the first time you've had control over the shopping environment, what design details where important to you?

A big open, white space—that's important to me in my home. It's important to me pretty much anywhere that I'm going to be spending time. My office is that way as well. For me, I love shades of white and ivory with gold accents. In my spring collection, I use gold accents throughout.

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Also, wood—always. Sometimes when you use all white, it can feel clinical and cold, but when you have wood floors, it warms everything up. I want someone to come in to shop and feel a lightness and airiness.

Rachel Zoe's pop-up. Photo: Courtesy of Laurel & Wolf

Rachel Zoe's pop-up. Photo: Courtesy of Laurel & Wolf

It definitely has that feeling. Are you testing this space to perhaps be a permanent fixture here at The Grove?

Yes. I don't know that it would be this exact space, but perhaps another location at The Grove.

What about the possibility of expanding outside of LA?

Sure. Oh, absolutely. We definitely plan to.

The Oscars are this Sunday. Are you styling anyone this year?

I'm not this year.

So you'll be sitting on the couch with champagne, like the rest of us?

[Laughs.] I'm definitely not sitting on the couch. I will be working on The Zoe Report, so I'll be talking about what everyone is wearing as it happens and then also, I'll be here [at the pop-up]. I'm excited to see everyone.

Anyone that you're particularly excited to see?

There are a couple people. Cate Blanchett for sure, always, she is a dream. And Alicia Vikander — I love what she's been wearing. 

Rachel Zoe's pop-up. Photo: Courtesy of Laurel & Wolf

Rachel Zoe's pop-up. Photo: Courtesy of Laurel & Wolf

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