Rachel Zoe on How ‘The Rachel Zoe Project’ Became About Her – Which Wasn’t the Plan

Power Women Summit 2019: “I was very comfortable, and still am, very comfortable, behind the scenes,” designer says

Last Updated: October 29, 2019 @ 3:58 PM

Fashion designer Rachel Zoe says she never intended for her Bravo series, “The Rachel Zoe Project,” to be about her. Yes, the title of the reality show, which ran for five seasons from 2008-2013, might have her name smack in the middle of it, but her original idea was to be behind the scenes.

Zoe said that “the intention was never to be in front,” during her “How to Be a Boss: Building Your Brand” panel, moderated by Condé Nast Entertainment’s Teal Newland, at WrapWomen’s Power Women Summit on Friday. She says it’s “insane, actually,” that it happened because she didn’t want to be followed around by cameras.

“I was very comfortable, and still am, very comfortable, behind the scenes. And that’s why I grew to be a stylist cause I, in those days, was very behind the scenes. Definitely not in front,” said the Box of Style founder, whose career has included a transition from stylist to designer. “And the intention with doing the show, to be honest, was very much about exposing the designers and showing the behind-the-scenes look at the fashion industry and sort of all these incredibly brilliant minds: the designers, the stylists. Just all the work that goes into it, because it was such a mystery at that time.”

“So I really wanted to give a bird’s eye view into the minds and the skills of the designers and really show what goes into what they do,” Zoe added. “Cut to: I did a deal with Bravo for a show and, as some of you may have seen, it became something a bit different than what I thought it would. But in hindsight — it was so much work — but it was fun and what I love about it today is how it affected people.”

Zoe says that “pretty much every day” of her life, someone comes up to her to talk to her about the show.

“That’s the most rewarding thing in the world,” she said.

“But it definitely did get real and kinda scary because it was all of a sudden the entire world that I didn’t know, all of a sudden, felt like they knew me,” she added. “And I guess, in theory, they did, because I’m not an actor and who I was on TV — as anyone who really knows me knows — I’m pretty much exactly the same as I was on that show.”

WrapWomen’s Power Women Summit, held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica Thursday and Friday, brings together 1,500 of the most influential women from the entertainment, media and technology industries, making it the largest gathering of its kind.

With the theme of “Toward 50/50,” the event highlights women of achievement, encourages discussion on topics of impact and creates a lasting community of powerful women. The summit provides two days of education, mentorship, workshops and networking.

Additional speakers for the summit include Eva Longoria, Nicole Richie, Gigi Gorgeous, Sophia Bush, Erin Andrews, Gina Torres, Stephanie Beatriz, Diane Guerrero and Jenna Dewan.

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