Los Angeles Business Journal

ShoeDazzle Adds Celebrity Stylist Rachel Zoe

By Natalie Jarvey Wednesday, January 9, 2013

ShoeDazzle is adding an extra dose of reality star power to its executive lineup.

The Santa Monica online retailer announced Wednesday that it has appointed celebrity stylist and reality TV star Rachel Zoe as its chief stylist.

Zoe, who has styled such actresses as Kate Hudson and Keira Knightley, has shot to fame since 2009 when Bravo began airing a reality show about her life and business called “The Rachel Zoe Project.”

As part of her role as chief stylist, Zoe will select her favorite shoes from ShoeDazzle’s collection each month.

“She’ll be heavily involved in deciding what type of fashion trends we should be spotting and planning for,” said Brian Lee, ShoeDazzle’s co-founder and chief executive.

ShoeDazzle, which offers a monthly selection of shoes and accessories to subscribers, already has one reality TV star to its name. Kim Kardashian has been involved as a co-founder since the company launched in 2009.

During ShoeDazzle’s early days, Kardashian was the face of the brand, telling customers which shoes were her favorites. But Lee said her role as a stylist for the company has diminished.

“Kim Kardashian will always be a co-founder of the business and always be part of ShoeDazzle in that sense,” he said. “But the chief stylist will be Rachel Zoe going forward. We’re bringing in someone who lives and breathes being a stylist every day.”

Lee added that Zoe’s appointment is the first of many changes to come for ShoeDazzle.

The company had a rough 2012. Chief Executive Bill Strauss resigned in September after about a year and was replaced by Chairman Brian Lee, who had previously served as chief executive.

Strauss was the driving force behind the company’s move to eliminate its monthly subscription fee last year. The change received criticism from e-commerce experts who said that it could hurt ShoeDazzle’s bottom line.

Lee has not said whether he will bring the subscription fee back now that he’s returned to the company. But he said the company will be making more announcements in the coming months.

“There are a lot of exciting things that we’re working on,” he said. “Rachel Zoe will be part of that.”