This week on the Friday Five, I'm bringing you F I V E designers I admire and why.
New to the Friday Five and wondering what's up? Check out my Inaugural Friday Five post last week to get caught up!
Rachel Zoe of Rachel Zoe Collection. I discovered stylist Rachel Zoe when she had her television show The Rachel Zoe Project on Bravo. Whenever someone asks what my "dream job" is, since I was about 18, it has always been "stylist," honestly at first, without even knowing that it really meant. Rachel Zoe opened up a new world for me - first as a stylist, and beyond with her own line Rachel Zoe Collection. She is known for her glamour, with chic designs and taking tailored silhouettes and putting a modern twist on them. She is who she is, and she isn't afraid to be that person. I so admire her gut and determination to make herself a household name. Her husband Rodger (married 22 years) is the CFO of her corporation, and they are the best. She has a really cool story. And her clothes, well...they speak for themselves. She has several smaller ventures as well, including The Zoe Report, a daily dose of lifestyle, fashion, and beauty that you can subscribe to and have delivered to your email. She's also launched Rachel Zoe's Box of Style, a subscription styling service, delivered seasonally for $99.99 (valued at $400). All Hail Zoe.
Heidi Elnora of heidi elnora first came on my radar when I was a senior in high school. It was college career day, and I was about to enter my freshman year of college as a fashion design major. I was completely star-struck and inspired and encouraged and affirmed. I couldn't tell you much else about that day, but I remember the classroom I sat in, and all the words she said. You were on Project Runway?! You built your brand from the ground up?! You have practical tips for how you got where you are?! You're here in my hometown?!?! Heidi is inspiring for numerous reasons, but the ones that stand out are her incredible artistic vision, the detail and construction that goes into her gowns, and her vision to accommodate a wide variety of brides. Her brand has has three distinct collections: heidi elnora, build-a-Bride, and Hello Darling. Her trademark is her build-a-Bride feature, where brides can help customize the design of their dress and take part in the ownership of their special piece. I went to Heidi Elnora Atelier for my wedding dress, in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, my hometown. Best decision I made! I could go on. AND ON. Perfect score. She and her team knocked it out of the park.
Nicole Richie of House of Harlow 1960 is what bohemian dreams are made of. She first launched jewelry, before expanding to apparel, footwear, and, now, a full lifestyle brand. Her idea of House of Harlow 1960 was born out of the thought that “fashion gives you the ability express yourself, take a look inward and discover what you are drawn to and why” (House of Harlow 1960, 2018). I often think if I became a designer, her brand would be a major mood-board item of inspiration for me. I also love that she and Rachel Zoe are gal pals in the industry. What could be better than two of my faves being each other's faves?!
Kris and Laura Brock
Kris and Laura Brock of Brock Collection design the women's luxury ready-to-wear label. The husband and wife duo met while both were students at Parsons School of Design. They, like most of these designers, worked their way from the bottom up and this is likely a large part of why they are on this list. There are few things I love and admire more than someone who makes their dream a reality by hard work and passion (and of course talent). I love the romantic feel of their pieces, as well as the ready-to-wear nature they strive towards. Their designs are so dreamy. It's ease yet glamour. One of my style icons, Kate Bosworth, wears Brock Collection often, and only fuels my love for them more!
Marc Jacobs of Marc Jacobs I will always admire for pushing boundaries and going out of the box. I used to tear his advertisements out of my Teen Vogue magazines and tack them to my closet wall for decor and inspiration. At the root of his core values is his belief that "we are each the star of our own movie, and through the joy of the ritual of fashion, makeup and fragrance, we can help further define our individuality and personality" (Marc Jacobs, 2018). I'm with you Marc. His brand expands beyond clothing, to accessories, beauty, kids, gifts, but his core beliefs and values are not lost though his range is now wide. Leaving Louis Vuitton to focus on his own label, his experience is both wide and deep. He's always served as a pillar of inspiration for me for which I measure other inspirations in fashion with.