ShoeDazzle Taps Rachel Zoe as New Celebrity Spokesperson

Many subscription e-commerce companies have used celebrities to get their businesses off the ground. So, perhaps, all you need to turn one around is a second spokesperson.


That seems to be ShoeDazzle’s plan.

Three months after ShoeDazzle replaced its CEO Bill Strauss with founder Brian Lee and laid off a small number of employees, the company has named celebrity designer and stylist Rachel Zoe as chief stylist.

To be sure, Lee is no stranger to celebrity endorsements.

Not only did he start ShoeDazzle four years ago with Kim Kardashian, who still remains involved in the company, he is also currently CEO at the Honest Company, which he co-founded with actress Jessica Alba.

Lee told Women’s Wear Daily that Zoe will be critical in getting the word out to ShoeDazzle’s core demographic. He said among women 18 to 32, ShoeDazzle already has a 45 percent awareness level, but Zoe should help in increasing that.

Zoe is also the star of “The Rachel Zoe Project,” a reality television series on Bravo.

When ShoeDazzle first launched, it charged women $40 to receive a pair of shoes every month. The catch, however, was that if you failed to log in and tell ShoeDazzle you weren’t interested in any of the options, they would charge you anyway.

In March, Strauss did away with that model, so that members would be charged only if they made a purchase — no matter if it was once a month or once every six months.

The idea was to enable the site to appeal to a wider audience. ShoeDazzle had 10 million members, which led Strauss to say at the time, “That isn’t enough. We want tens of millions.” ShoeDazzle also started selling apparel, lingerie and handbags.

The unintended consequence of the changes was that the site became much like any other e-commerce destination, where people visited when they wanted to buy something. But with Lee’s return to the business — and Zoe all signed up — subscriptions will also make a comeback, just like a pair of black pumps.

“Do I think a subscription business can’t get to $1 billion? Absolutely not. It can,” he told Women’s Wear Daily. “It depends on the product. Subscriptions only work in two areas: Where there is an absolute need for it or an absolute desire for it.”

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work