Review: The Zoe Report Debuts, Praises Shoes Designed By A Friend

This morning, I awoke to find the first installment of The Zoe Report in my inbox. What a way to start the day! Celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe won us over with her reality show, “The Rachel Zoe Project,” but can another email newsletter succeed? Or will she become another Gwyneth Paltrow and The Zoe Report mere GOOP? After the jump, we dissect TZR’s inaugural email.TIME SENT: 7:31 a.m. Rachel and Co. must be serious about this venture to send it this early. And they’re pretty smart. It went out first thing in the morning, giving bloggers the entire day to rhapsodize about it (or rip it to shreds).

DESIGN: The layout is simple, with Rachel’s logo and the words “The Zoe Report” at the top, next to a photo of the woman herself looking très glam in an oversized animal print hat and fingerless gloves. The photos of the featured products could definitely be larger — how can we see the amazing shoes she’s telling us about if we only get a 150-pixel photo?

CONTENT: It’s no surprise Rachel picked a pair of Brian Atwood “shooties” (that’s shoe + booty) for the first Zoe Report, as she has been friends with the designer for 12 years “so I support him,” she said in a June 29 tweet (and she mentioned him on her Twitter four times in the last month alone). This seems a little GOOP-y to us, giving famous friends free publicity, and we hope it isn’t an everyday occurrence. While the Brian Atwood shoes she touts are $680 and currently available for pre-order, the Zoe acknowledges that her readers might not be able to afford as much, and includes a “Parallel Universe” option (Steve Maddens for $129.95) at the bottom of the page. Props to her for coming up with cute phrases like that, along with “Glamour is Contagious” next to the share with friends link.

ADVERTISEMENTS: Unlike Gwyneth, Rachel is starting off with a skyscraper ad alongside her content, the sign of a true businesswoman. Sure, it’s for her own Bravo show, but maybe the network paid for it?

USE OF CATCHPRASES: We didn’t have to wait long for her to bring out her infamous “I DIE.” And since this is print, rather than a TV show, we finally get to see how she spells and punctuates these trademarks. If she uses these every single newsletter, though, we might have to unsubscribe.

OVERALL: We’re not blown away by the first edition of The Zoe Report, but it’s not horrible either. At least it’s nice that Rachel is sticking to topics she’s an expert on — leopard print heels — rather than delving into the spiritual.