Decorating & Entertaining Ideas

Rachel Zoe Shares Her Tips for Storing Accessories

Designer and stylist Rachel Zoe has been accessories-obsessed ever since she was a little tyke. “If you look at old photos of my mom, she’s decked out in dark sunnies and huge necklaces, with her wrists covered in bangles,” says Zoe. “When I was younger, I’d get lost in her closet playing dress up.” So it’s no surprise that Zoe now possesses a dreamy closet of her own, where accessories—vintage finds she’s pounced on over the years alongside designs from her own line—take center stage. We thought we’d get the scoop on how she stores the goods.

How do you keep your bag and clutch collection in check?
I store my handbags in duster bags when I’m not using them in order to prevent any unnecessary scratching or wear. The ones I use the most are left on an easy-to-reach shelf in my closet and the rest are neatly tucked away.

What about your shoes?
My shoe wall is organized first by style and then by color. I keep them out on shelves so I can easily access any pair while getting dressed.

Do you do anything special to help shoes keep their shape?
I don’t generally stuff them with paper or anything, but any new pairs stay in their box until I have the perfect occasion to wear them.

And how do you handle belts?
The casual daytime belts I wear all the time are hung on a wall with hooks, while those that are more delicate or have tons of hardware, like my vintage Judith Leiber and Hermes belts, are coiled with tissue paper and kept in soft duster bags.

Now onto jewelry! How do you organize your amazing collection?
I keep the costume jewelry that I wear regularly in shallow, velvet-lined drawers inside my closet. This way I can open a drawer and see all of my options laid out in front of me without having to sift through pouches and jewelry boxes. Years ago, an assistant of mine started using the term “greatest hits” in reference to my favorite go-to pieces, and these are the pieces that live in my top two drawers.

Is everything in a drawer, or do you ever work in cute vessels?
I typically keep the pieces I’m currently wearing in Hermès ashtrays sitting on my vanity and nightstand.

What about those once-in-a-while pieces you love, but don’t use regularly?
My vintage costume jewelry is wrapped in tissue and stored in linen boxes, but my fine jewelry lives in its original box inside a safe.

Are you a label devotee?
Yes! Each linen box has its own label noting the contents of the box like “turquoise beading” or “tigers eye.”

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