Q&A: Zanna Roberts Rassi

“Marie Claire’s’’ senior fashion editor will host this weekend’s benefit during The Mall at Millenia's Fashion Week.



PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MALL AT MILLENIA

Question: The 2016 Fall Collection Spotlight you’re hosting on Sunday, September 18, benefits Runway to Hope, a program that provides direct assistance to children and families affected by pediatric cancer. Is this a program that is important to you?

Zanna Roberts Rassi: As a mother of two 2-year-olds, absolutely this program is important to me. I have a dear friend who has dealt with pediatric cancer and she’s such a hero. I feel that it’s our duty to help families dealing with this illness in any way that we possibly can. Whenever there’s an opportunity to mix fashion and charity together, I feel that I must do it.

Q: You’re the senior fashion editor at Marie Claire, E! News fashion correspondent, stylist for a number of brands and celebrities, Project Runway All Stars mentor, and co-founder of Milk Makeup. What’s your secret to balancing all of these different roles?

ZRR: I don’t have one! Literally every day is something new. I try to get a solid 7 hours of sleep every night. Also, every minute counts in my day so having an organized schedule is important. I even schedule my downtime. And really…I’m just grateful that I am always busy.

Q: What do you think has been the key to your success in the fashion industry?

ZRR: Being open to change. It’s a very exciting time in our industry right now and there’s a lot of change. Now an editor of a magazine can also be in the world of television and create content for digital platforms. That’s the way I have transitioned.

Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to work in the fashion industry?

ZRR: I studied journalism, and I always knew that I wanted to be in touch with fashion in some way shape or form. I interned at a magazine in the UK when I was 21 and I was asked by one of the editors to do research for a project. I did a ridiculous amount of research and I enjoyed it SO much. They were pretty blown away and helped me land my first job in the fashion industry.

Q: You’re the mom of twins Rumi and Juno. Has motherhood changed your style at all?

ZRR: Yes. I wear a lot of dresses now and that’s probably because there’s zero coordination required. I’m definitely less experimental now because I don’t have the time to really think about what I’m wearing.

Q: What are the big trends for fall 2016?

ZRR: Denim is having a big moment right now, specifically high-waist jeans and cropped flares. Also, velvet, faux fur, big teddy bear jackets, and lots of metallic and gold are all trending for fall.

Q: How do you think these trends will translate in a warm climate such as Orlando?

ZRR: It’s all about taking the materials that are trending and incorporating them through accessories. For instance, you don’t have to wear head to toe velvet; velvet platform shoes are very in style right now. Oversized denim jackets are also a big trend at the moment, so a denim jacket paired with a lightweight dress is a perfect outfit for Orlando.

Q: What is one fashion trend that will never go out of style?

ZRR: Denim will always be in style. It’s been around forever. It’s a statement as well as a staple.

Q: What’s the best way to achieve a runway look without looking overdressed?

ZRR: Take elements from the runway show instead of the entire outfit. Wear the runway metallic top with a pair of slouchy pants instead of with the fancy skirt and heels.

Q: What advice would you give to others who want a career in the fashion industry?

ZRR: You have to be elastic and willing to try everything. Help where help is needed. Don’t be afraid to suggest ideas. Read everything…you can never know too much about the industry. Learn a broad range of skills instead of being narrow-minded.

Sunday’s benefit is part of The Mall at Millenia’s Fashion Week, celebrating its 11th anniversary. For tickets to the fundraiser, go to runwaytohope.org. For information on Fashion Week events, go to milleniafashionweek.com

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