PHOTOGRAPHS BY DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN| August 5, 2011 |
Fur coat, Emilio Pucci ($22,810). emiliopucci.com. Jeans, 7 for All Mankind ($159). Fahrenheit 451, 105 Main St., Westhampton Beach; 7forallmankind.com. Tiger ring (price on request) and ring (price on request) (RIGHT HAND), David Webb. 942 Madison Ave., NYC; davidwebb.com. Bag, Chanel (price on request). Americana Manhasset, 2060 Northern Blvd.; chanel.com. Ring (LEFT HAND), Rachel’s own. Suede platform pump, Rachel Zoe ($295). Neiman Marcus, 2 E. Maple Ave., White Plains; neimanmarcus.com
It is a week before fashion stylist Rachel Zoe is heading to the Hamptons. Although she is presumably attending the annual Super Saturday benefit, to which she has contributed for the past several seasons, a trip to the East End also means times with friends. Those include polo player and Ralph Lauren model Nacho Figueras and his wife, Delfina Blaquier, whom Zoe met two years ago at one of Andrew Saffir’s famous dinner parties. Now that the Black Watch captain and stylist-turned-reality-television star are both parents—Figueras to Hilario, 11, Aurora, six, and Artemio, two; Zoe to son Skyler, nearly five months, with husband Rodger Berman—the conversation drifts more toward the kids, including the possibility of Figueras grooming Skyler to be the next Bridgehampton Polo Classic star.
“Can we make sure that he is, because I don’t want him to play football,” says Zoe. “I have certain sports that I really want him to do. One is surfing, one is polo and the other one is tennis, because I feel like the injury level could be a bit lower—unless, of course, he falls off the horse, God forbid.” “A bit of risk is always okay,” says Figueras. “I’ll take care of the polo, Hilario will take care of the surfing, and we’ll find someone to take care of the tennis.”
Named Hollywood’s most powerful fashion player by The Hollywood Reporter, Zoe has taken the success of her Bravo reality series, The Rachel Zoe Project, and launched her brand into the stratosphere with a lifestyle website and a fashion line, Rachel Zoe Collection, that debuted last month in luxury retail stores, including Intermix (64 Main St., Southampton, 283- 8510; 87 Main St., East Hampton, 907-8025) as well as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom. Here, she and Figueras, who is making his interviewing debut, “just wing it” and talk fashion, family and Zoe’s Hamptons beginnings.
NACHO FIGUERAS:When did you know that fashion was your calling? When was that defining moment? RACHEL ZOE: The first person I ever dressed was a boy when I was about eight years old; I hated what he was wearing to school every day. His family all wore Ralph Lauren, so I knew he had better clothes. I went into his closet and laid out every outfit—cable-knit sweaters and loafers and plaid shirts—head to toe for Monday to Friday, and he actually wore them. He was technically my first client. But I think like any girl, I just loved glamour and looking at pictures of beautiful women—the women of Studio 54, Yves Saint Laurent’s muses, Halston’s muses—and with that, I just said, ‘I need to make this my life. I need to make this my career.’
NF:Who was your main inspiration? RZ: As a designer, Brigitte Bardot is one of my biggest influences. Also Bianca Jagger, Ali MacGraw, Lauren Hutton and Anjelica Huston in the ’70s. Really powerful, incredible, beautiful, fashionable and intelligent women. Often I am inspired by the streets of Europe and my travels.
NF:How would you describe your new line, Rachel Zoe Collection? RZ: It is a complete mix of Parisian chic and sophisticated with London cool and downtown fun for people who love fashion, who have style, who really want to wear incredibly luxurious, very tailored clothes that are not going to go out of style, at contemporary price points—so Delfina can buy one of everything, basically.
NF:How did your days at Gotham help develop your career? [Ed note: Zoe was the magazine’s senior fashion editor at the time of its launch.] RZ: One of my first fashion editorials I ever styled on my own was actually for Hamptons. We shot out at East Hampton beach or Main Beach, or Georgica Beach—I don’t remember, but it was amazing—and I thought, “This is the most fun, incredible thing ever. I’m in a place where I grew up every summer, and I get to work with the most beautiful clothes on a beautiful model for a great magazine. I have to do this forever.” So I would say it was pretty instrumental.
Charlie jacket ($375), Charlie pant ($275) and Natalie blouse ($295), Rachel Zoe Collection. Intermix, 64 Main St., Southampton; intermixonline.com. Earrings ($3,525) and ring ($6,425) (RIGHT HAND), Cartier. London Jewelers, Americana Manhasset, 2060 Northern Blvd.; londonjewelers.com. Ring (LEFT HAND), Rachel’s own
NF:How has your style changed since becoming a mother? RZ: It changed in the sense that instead of taking 15 minutes to get ready, I now have about three minutes, so I find that I have to be a bit more practical. I still want to look good, but I can’t wear clothes that have a lot of zippers and buttons and things that will hurt the baby because I’m holding him all day. I find I’m dressing a lot more simply by day, and then at night, I can kind of do my normal thing a little bit more.
NF: How is Rodger? Good? RZ: Rodger is amazing. We are loving parenthood, and the fact that we are business partners as well really works, because we take Skyler to the office and he is like our company mascot. He is just an incredible father, and he loves feeding him and bathing him; he is really hands-on. We have never been happier—but never been more tired, either.
NF:Which of your clients do you think you learned the most from? RZ: I learn different things from each one of them. From someone like Anne Hathaway, I learn a lot about culture and music and arts because she is such a culture rat; she makes me want to go to the theater and read more books. With someone like Kate Hudson, she really inspires me to be much more free-spirited and not so planned and controlling. And Cameron Diaz—she is effortlessly cool and very confident in who she is. Jennifer Garner, I think the best lesson I have learned from her is how to balance both jobs—as a mother and as someone working in Hollywood—and how to really keep your priorities straight. She is an extraordinary, very grounded person who exemplifies how to be a working mother.
NF:How did The Rachel Zoe Project change your life? RZ: There are pros and cons to everything. The pro would be that it really helped launch my brand internationally because the show airs in 15 countries around the world. It really provided a lot of additional opportunities for me in my work. The drawback is that you lose a little bit of your private life. But I do think the one thing that was great about it is, people had a very inaccurate opinion about who they thought I was for some time, like this very cold fashion person. And I think now they see that I am really a very normal family person who is completely obsessed with fashion. Because it is, in fact, a reality show, you actually see who I am; I am not an actor. That is who I am, that is who Rodger is, that is who we all are. What you see is what you get, and if you want to form an opinion of me after you see the show and you don’t like me, that is fine, but at least that is who I am. Take it or leave it.
NF: I like you. RZ: You like me? Oh, good! I am really happy about that. We would be in big trouble if you did not.