Where to Eat, Sleep, and Shop During NYFW, According to Rachel Zoe
In the midst of New York Fashion Week, Jetsetter caught up with designer-stylist-entrepreneur extraordinaire Rachel Zoe to talk travel, style, and NYC hotspots for fall 2019.
When you’re in town for New York Fashion Week, where do you like to stay?
I love hotels. I could live in hotels forever! For as long as I’ve been based in L.A. and traveled to New York, my home away from home has been The Mercer. I also love the Crosby so much—it feels like a little slice of London in Soho. Uptown, I like The Mark and The Carlyle.
What are your favorite spots for shopping between shows?
Sadly, I don’t get much shopping time anymore, but I always used to go vintage shopping at Resurrection or What Goes Around Comes Around. I’d also see Shannon [Hoey], who runs New York Vintage, but a lot of times I do it online now, where I call the stores for some of my favorite things.
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Let’s talk food. Where do you go out to eat in New York?
Downtown, whenever I have meetings or need a late-night bite, it’s always The Mercer or the Crosby. I’m also really excited to go to Pastis, now that it’s reopened. After so many years, I still love Balthazar so much. I also love Sant Ambroeus and Indochine, always and forever—to me, that is New York. The Waverly is like home—it’s one of my favorites for meeting friends and having a cozy dinner when I’m so tired and just want to have a glass of wine and catch up.
If you weren’t running around between shows and press events, what would an ideal Saturday look like for you in NYC?
Rodg [husband Rodger Berman] and I would sleep past 7 a.m., which would be a dream, not rushed or anything. We’d have brunch—probably at Balthazar—then walk around Soho and Nolita and just have a nice strolling/shopping/vintage-ing/eating/relaxing day. It’s so rare that we actually get to do that. Afterwards, we’d probably have a really fun dinner with friends.
You’re constantly traveling for work—what items are always in your bag?
I know it’s not glamorous, but hand sanitizer in 10 different iterations—every kind of baby wipe, hand wipe, and sanitizer you can imagine. I also bring several pairs of sunglasses of all shapes and sizes, because they depend on my mood—some that take up half my face, and some little round ones. I always have my go-to makeup bag with my hero items, especially a great concealer and a hydrator. I carry tons of hydrating things: Dr. Barbara Sturm drops to apply throughout the day, Drunk Elephant products…. I’m obsessed with serums, hydrating mists, and lip oils because my skin gets so dry when I travel. And I always carry an oversized scarf in my bag because I freeze on a plane.
Tell us about the fall Box of Style, your subscription style box.
My husband and I started Box of Style because so many women on social media were saying things like, “I wish you could style me” or “I wish you could tell me what to wear to this event.” It’s an attempt to curate luxury fashion and beauty essentials that women will get excited about at the beginning of every season—the things they don’t know they want that then become their newest obsessions. When I personally am obsessed with something, that’s when we choose to put it in a box, and we round out the assortment so you’re not getting repeat types of items throughout the year.
My newest box gives women a jumpstart into fall with key items they can style with their own wardrobes. It includes a beautiful caramel crossbody bag; a card case, because I find that a lot of my friends and I are carrying mini card holders for running errands rather than bringing a big wallet around; an incredible gold statement necklace that’s easy to wear and not intimidating; and a cult-favorite product from Shani Darden, one of the biggest celebrity estheticians, to brighten skin for fall. It’s been such a fun and exciting business. We haven’t even scratched the surface yet. It’s going to be so much more and do so much more.
If you could give readers one piece of fall style advice, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone. Fashion should be something that makes you happy and that you experiment with and have fun with, not something that has rules you have to follow—because not one thing works for everybody.
What fashion trends are you most excited about this fall?
I’m most excited to get into my animal prints—leopard and zebra. I also start to get into my favorite velvet pieces; metallics; my fall colors, like deep blues and reds. I have an amazing new Altuzarra saddle bag that I’m completely obsessed with. I bring out my big, oversized jewelry. Always sequins, of course. And lots of faux fur—I’m ready for it to get cold so I can wear my faux furs.
Very glam style.
I don’t know how to do it another way.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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