Rachel Zoe reflects on impact of 'The Rachel Zoe Project': What 'made it worth it'
Rachel Zoe still gets asked about "The Rachel Zoe Project" all the time, despite the fact that the five-season Bravo reality show ended five years ago, in 2013.
The show, which focused on Zoe's celebrity styling business and family life, helped the designer to launch a global fashion brand and still has its diehard fans that dream of a reboot. To Zoe, the lasting impression of "The Rachel Zoe Project" proved that "there was something in it for everyone" -- which wasn't necessarily her intention for the show when it first started.
"It’s funny, I set out to give people a little bit of an inside look into the fashion world," Zoe told AOL's Gibson Johns exclusively at Polo Hamptons, which she hosted last weekend. "That was the intention of it, but ultimately what happened is that I feel like there was something in it for everyone. Any kind of husband and wife or [...] I used to have these 60 to 70-year-old businessmen come up to me and be like, 'I love your show!' And I’m like, 'Seriously?' And they’re like, 'I love the way you manage.'"
As the show developed over its five-season run, it gave an ever-expanded view of Zoe's life, but still managed to maintain it's core feeling, which combined humor in Zoe's deadpan delivery and genuine suspense over work-related fashion catastrophes.
"Either they related to Rodger or to the stresses of being a working woman and the challenges of that," Zoe explained of the show's loyal viewership. "Some people found it an escape and some people really related to it on some level. For me, to provide an escapism to people in their everyday life, that made it worth it to me."
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Since the show, Zoe has expanded her brand to include The Zoe Report and an eponymous ready-to-wear fashion line, among many other things. The mother of two explained to AOL that, over the years, she's learned to that in order for her growing business to really thrive, it's become more beneficial for her to focus on fewer things rather than try to do it all, which is what her natural inclination is.
"As you grow, that’s always the challenge," Zoe said. "Adding more employees and more things -- things get more complicated. Trying to be great at too many things is hard, and focusing is really important. Nobody can be 100 percent in too many things. Narrowing your focus is a really good lesson, and I’ve done that over the past couple of years. It’s been incredibly helpful. I’m definitely someone who wants to go go go."
Our interview took place just as her cover of Social Life Magazine was being unveiled in honor of the Hamptons' premiere luxury lifestyle publication's 15th anniversary. For the New Jersey native, who grew up going to the Hamptons and continues to come East every summer, it was an honor to cover the July issue of a magazine that celebrates a place that she loves so much.
"This is where it goes down for us every summer," she explained. "I've spent every summer here since I was born. All we do is create memories. I'm here with my kids, and they go to the beach and to came and [my husband] Rodg and I get to go on date nights, which we never get to do. It's summer! It's just the best. We do work when we're out here, but we try to enjoy the weekends."
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