It might seem like many of fashion's biggest names have been around forever, but of course we know that's not true. Everyonehas an origin story, including the people we've come to see as the very heart of fashion: Rachel Zoe, Joe Zee, and even 93-year-old icon Iris Apfel.
Keep scrolling to read the interesting stories from Zoe, Zee, Apfel, and more!
"Since I was five years old, I’ve had a love of glamour and everything beautiful. Always. My dad used to say that the most expensive thing, the most beautiful thing, anywhere—if it was, like, a rock on the beach, a light in a window, it didn’t matter, but whatever it was—I would just beeline to it. And to this day, I love sequins, I love embellishment, I love all things glamorous. So I honestly think that’s what drove me. As a kid I didn’t know I could make a career out of that, but I’m fortunate that I did."
"When I was 11 years old, [my mother] opened a boutique. She didn’t carry top-of-the-line items, but she did carry the most beautiful costume jewellery, which is how I came to love accessories myself. Accessories, to me, are the most transformative thing in fashion. You can put on a little black dress but change the accessories and you change the whole outfit."
"I crashed my first fashion show shortly after I moved to New York City. It was the early ’90s and I was going to school at FIT, and Fashion Week was an exciting and nerve-wracking thing for me. It was exciting because it was the world I wanted to live in, and nerve-wracking because I was still trying to get an invite into this world. A fashion-obsessed student is a dime a dozen. Through some sleuthing, I learned that Marc Jacobs was showing his Perry Ellis collection downtown in a Soho loft—when Soho was cool—and I knew I needed to get in."
"The first time I really started to see fashion as a means of discussing larger issues was the 2000 presidential campaign with George Bush and Al Gore. It was the first time I understood the way public figures use clothing to manipulate perception in a very conscious way. I had moved to London and was freelancing at the time, so perhaps that distance gave me a different perspective. Whatever the reason though, it was my Damascene moment."
"My first favourite fashion moment was when I was a kid watching women get ready in film makeup rooms. It was like this secret society—they all had eyelash curlers and rollers in their hair and coffee. I felt like I was backstage at a ballet. It was like watching a symphony of women transform themselves. The lights on the mirrors were so romantic and cool and interesting. They would walk out really confident and proud. It forever stuck in my mind."