Could rumors about declining sales of Rachel Zoe's clothing label be related to concerns about the future of her Bravo reality show? Some sources say the line isn't selling as well as expected — despite indications from her business partners that they're "very happy" with its performance.
The show was an important promotional tool for the clothing, but so far it hasn't been renewed for a fifth season, and uncertainty about its future has been in the air for months. Last December, Zoe's husband Rodger Berman told Fashionista it was "still unclear" whether the show would return for a fifth season. This February, Zoe — who had at that point started her own television production company — told WWD, "After four years, maybe there's something to be said for starting something new."
That may explain why unnamed sources told Page Six Monday that Li & Fung — the Chinese retailing firm that backs Zoe's collection — "is panicked" about the future of the line, and that consumer interest in her wares has hit its peak. Alan Chartash, Li & Fung's chief strategy officer in the United States, said that was not the case.
"We're very happy. Apparel launched a year or so, and since that time, we've launched footwear, handbags and we're launching a line of jewelry exclusively with Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman," Chartash said. "We're supportive of Rachel and the continuation of the brand. Like any clothing line, it ebbs and flows, but we're very happy with the apparel sales."
Representatives from Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue, which also sell Zoe's clothing, had not responded to requests for comment as of this post.
Update: Bravo announced today that it has picked up The Rachel Zoe Project for a fifth season that will follow the stylist as she oversees her expanding business and family. Zoe herself said today during the Lucky Fabb conference that rumors of her business suffering are untrue. "My business is up significantly. Just launched jewelry, things are going well," she said. "None of those points from the NY Post article were true and it got picked up by everyone. Our retailers didn't even blink, though, because they know the truth."