all the latest about stylist's Rachel Zoe latest designer career moves
NEW YORK — Dressing Hollywood's "It" girls is no longer enough for stylist Rachel Zoe.
Zoe has become a designer, creating a handbag collection in collaboration with Judith Leiber that will launch at retail this fall. The collection is the first of Zoe's design ambitions. She is pursuing women's apparel and other categories, although she has no firm plans.
"I've turned down collaborations in the past, but this whole thing just clicked," said Zoe, citing her first meeting with Frank Zambrelli, creative director of the New York-based brand.
Zoe was in New York last week for a series of events, including dressing Lindsay Lohan for her "Saturday Night Live" host duties.
The stylist, a vegetarian, said she is obsessed with animal skins, and the line, dubbed Rachel Zoe for Judith Leiber, incorporates plenty of them. Exotic skins such as lizard, crocodile and python, among nine other materials, are used in the two silhouettes that she created with Zambrelli. The Medusa style is a pliable satchel with ruched outside pockets at the sides, woven leather or suede shoulder straps and a flap closure. The Cleopatra is an oversize, rectangular minaudière. Both bags come in about 12 color variations, including a siren red and a matte gold, and are topped off with a heavy gold fob depicting two snakes — a favorite Zoe motif — coiled around a ring.
Inspiration for the serpentine finial came from an 18th-century door knocker on a building made for Louis XVI in Paris that Zambrelli came across.
"When I saw it, I called Rachel immediately," he said. "It even had the double L on the frieze above [for Louis XVI], but I could have sworn it said JL [for Judith Leiber]."
The bags will bow in September in Neiman Marcus, as well as in the company's four stores in Las Vegas, Atlanta, New York and Costa Mesa, Calif. They will range in price from $2,000 to $10,000. The higher range includes bags like one the design pair affectionately calls "The Mac Daddy," a minaudière encrusted with gold and pewter crystals that retails for $8,000.
As celebrity stylists such as Arianne Phillips, L'Wren Scott and Andrea Lieberman gain recognition for their part in establishing the personal looks for celebrities like Madonna, Nicole Richie and Jennifer Lopez, the stylist-as-designer genre is growing, said Robert Vignola, chief executive officer of Judith Leiber...
I have a feeling these bags will be very designered "inspired"
My thoughts exactly. Somehow I'm not excited about a $2k or better bag called "Mac Daddy".
Her business sense seems to be a bit off. Someone spending that kind of money on a bag isn't going to be attracted to a "Mac Daddy" bag just from the name alone. From the sounds of it, the bags sound like they won't be any better than Juicy. Therefore, I think she would do better to price the bags much lower for a preteen market who may be willing to buy into the idea of a "Rachel Zoe Mac Daddy" bag. She'll make more than enough money there, IF it is set up/marketed properly.