This Designer Is Single-Handedly Changing Your Instagram Feed

Instagram can make you fall in love with an article of clothing in a way no store or online retailer ever could. The magic of it all is something we on the other side might not ever understand, but thanks to the founder of one of the brands constantly making us shop via Instagram, we now officially have the inside scoop. Meet Rachel Zeilic—creative director and founder of the brand Majorelle and also the VP of talent here at Clique.

We got the chance to interview the mastermind behind the brand nearly every major influencer loves and wears regularly. Ahead, read up on how she started the brand, her relationship with Revolve, and much more.

Tell me all about the start of Majorelle.

Prior to Majorelle, I founded two lines—Stylestalker and The Jetset Diaries. They were two of the best-selling lines for Revolve and sold very well in general and got a lot of support from influencers. However, being an independent line and small business was really tough. My time was dominated by things like cash flow and production issues, leaving little time for creative. I met up with Raissa [Gerona, founder of Lovers and Friends and CBO at Revolve] one day for advice, and she said, “Fuck it—come do something with us!” The idea was to combine my marketing and design skills with their infrastructure, and voilà! Majorelle was born.

What was the inspiration behind creating a brand for the Majorelle girl?

I design for my dream girl—a combination of girls I know and muses from the past. Here is a description of her: Her mom was a Bond girl or vintage Playboy bunny, and her dad’s side is a wealthy European dynasty. She is sexy, exotic, untamed yet elegant. She’s bohemian yet extravagant. She’s effortless and has the innate style that can’t be studied or replicated. She lives in the moment. You can never tie her down or make plans too far in advance. She’s a muse to designers and musicians. She’s a jet-setter and has friends all around the world. You’ll find her on her friend’s yacht off Capri, shopping in the souks of Turkey or Morocco, or at an ashram in India. She picks things up along her travels and mixes them with vintage and designer. She speaks several languages, picked up from her various lovers.

I always think about what she’s doing, where she’s going, and what she would be wearing.

How does the process work partnering with Revolve’s design team? How quick is the turnaround?

Firstly, I create a creative brief that sets the mood and inspiration for the season. Next, my design assistants source fabrics and prints based on that brief. We choose our favorite fabrics and put inspiration of the kind of silhouettes and vibes we’re thinking for each fabric. Then we have a pre-sketch review with the buying team, and they give us feedback on what ideas to proceed with. Then once prints and fabrics are locked in, we sketch into each fabric group. Then we have another review with the buyers “sketch reviewm,” and they essentially choose what styles will go into production.

Now that I have other projects (aka my role at Clique), that’s where most of my design responsibilities end. The team executes the designs, and my focus switches to marketing the line to sending the product to my influencer friends and collaborating with Revolve marketing team on events, etc.

Any advice for young designers wanting to start a brand of their own?

Be prepared to work insane hours. Create something unique! You can’t just design a dress that you like but that’s similar to all the other brands, because customers will buy it from the bigger companies who can offer the better quality at lower prices because of volume. Start with a small but very cool product selection, be known for that, and then and build from there. Don’t try to go out the gates with a full collection.

What is one thing brands consistently do wrong on Instagram?

They look way too corporate. Social accounts should be full of personality and be expressive. The kinds of professional images brands have been creating for decades don’t work on social—iPhone pics work great!

You clearly have build tons of authentic relationships and networks throughout your career. What’s your secret?

I genuinely love meeting new people. It’s not fake. I think people can sniff fake. I get my energy from other people. I’m a bit weird in that I can find something interesting and wonderful about almost anyone. I love people who are nothing like me.

They key is not to go at it with the attitude of What can you do for me?, which I think so many people do. I don’t push things on people. You end up forming longer-term relationships where you help each other.

I also deeply believe in treating everyone equally. It’s just the way I was raised—I can’t help it. In this industry, people just flock to the more powerful and successful people, but a lot of people I got to know when they were just starting out or some (i.e., a lot) of the people I know who are now successful, I met back then.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge how amazing it is that you essentially have two jobs, working as the VP of talent at Clique Brands and the creative director of Majorelle. Can you tell me what that’s like?

I’m a Gemini, so it’s one job for each personality! I’m so, so lucky that I get to cover both of my passions with each job. Even if I didn’t have Majorelle, I would still be designing. It’s something that’s in me that needs to get out, so it’s easier for me to do both than to experience the frustration of not doing it. But also, I’ve been designing for 12 years, so I’m pretty fast at it. The technical drawings, tech packs, and fittings are the very time-consuming parts, and that I no longer do. I’m supposed to deliver 60 designs per month, and I always deliver way more—I just can’t stop.

But it is very tiring. It’s a lie that you can have it all—some things have to give. For me, it’s my health. I don’t have time to work out; I don’t sleep enough. I really need to look after myself more. The other night, my friend Ashley Graham said, “Is that fake tan collecting around your mole?” and I’m like, “Yeah, babe, I have two day jobs. I’m just doing my best.” We were laughing so hard. We can’t all be supermodels!

I’ve also been very involved with a charity called Cash & Rocket; we just wrapped a five-day car trip from San Francisco to L.A. to Las Vegas. And I’m also quite social. So yeah, I’m pushing it too far. I just got a horrible flu, which I think is my body telling me to chill the fuck out.

What does a typical workday look like for you as you juggle both Clique and Majorelle?

Clique is my full-time job. I’m in the office 9 to 6 when I’m in L.A., but I also travel quite a bit for this job. I work on Majorelle evenings and weekends, but the truth is sometimes I’ll still need to pull an all-nighter before the collection is due to get it all done.

Shop Majorelle summer dresses: