“I Die”: In Defense Of Rachel Zoe

Rachel Zoe: Love her or hate her (and most people hate her), you can’t deny that she’s a force of fashion nature. She styles some of the most famous women in the world, has her own product line on QVC, her own TV show, and countless endorsement deals. The media generally has a skinny bone to pick with Rachel and her countless affectations and affections. (A New York Times reviewer called her “a pox on humanity.”) Yet I can’t help but be completely charmed.

Yes, she says dumb things. Yes, she talks in a stilted, lilting Valley Girl-all-grown-up accent. And yes, she’s so thin it almost hurts to look at her. But! She’s an independent successful woman who possesses one characteristic that we should all be trying to achieve: passion.Rachel Zoe is fricking BANANAS about what she does. She loves her job. She loves fashion. She loves pretty things. And however frivolous that may seem in a world of poverty, war and injustice, give the girl a break. She’s built an empire on doing what she loves. And that’s at least a little inspiring, right?

Plus, the passion and joy she feels for what she does are infectious. When Rachel talks about her clients and about the beautiful garments she dresses them in, she sounds as if she’s describing her first school girl crush. She becomes positively giddy at the mention of gorgeous Lanvin gowns or Burberry trench coats. And she expresses an unbridled desire to make the people and the world around her more beautiful. I can’t fault her for that.

Rachel represents a woman who has worked hard to get what she wants — often at the expense of her personal life and sanity. On last night’s episode, she discusses with pal (and yes, radiantly famous actress) Kate Hudson the total lack of spontaneity in her life. How she spends all of her time working to achieve the next goal. And while a little balance for Zoe might be good — that type of dedication and perseverance should be respected.

Fashion is a field that’s often derided for its shallowness and superficiality. Some might say Rachel should work harder to change that. But should she? Is it her job to single-handedly challenge fashion’s foibles? Or can’t we just be happy watching someone be happy? She’s devoted her life to fashion — and at times it takes her breath away. We should all be so lucky to find something we love so much.