Rachel Fleit

WHO: Rachel Fleit, Chief Creative Officer, Health Nut, Hot Stuff
WHY SHE'S FOXY: As a high-fashion powerhouse and screenwriter, you would think her relentless schedule and fast-paced life would be all parties and martinis and empty of meaning, but in fact it’s the opposite: she’s an avocado-eating, bike-riding beach babe and dutiful granddaughter whose family values and deep relationships are grounded in hard work, true beauty and happiness.

 

ON RELATIONSHIP ADVICE: “The best I ever got was from my Nana Claire. She said, ‘if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.’ I really always return this, simple and true. Or ‘God’s Rejection is God’s protection’ is also good advice. During those really dark hours of heartbreak, it helps to have the feeling that there is a larger force making space for something better. The worst relationship advice I ever got was from my dear friend Fred, a fabulous, flamboyant bitchy queen, may he rest in peace, bought me a copy of ‘The Rules’ for my twenty-seventh birthday and told me to read it twice (he was sick of the dudes I was hanging around with by that point). The book is so terrifying and dogmatic and damaging and non feminist. I am breaking all of the rules and I am single right now but I do have faith that there is an easier, softer way. My relationship advice? ‘Hold on tight. You have no idea what’s in store for you. You likely deserve more than you think you do. Nothing works out until it works out then sometimes it still doesn’t work out. Enjoy the beginning of things. Like when you are waiting for the text back, it feels like torture but really it’s the exciting part.'”

 

ON MARRIAGE AND FAMILY: “Both my maternal and paternal grandparents had marriages I admired. Everyone loved my maternal grandparents. They were always taking long weekend trips to exotic cities, planning shivas, having parties, hosting their gaggle of granddaughters, gambling in Atlantic City, and going to weddings and bar mitzvahs. They were incredible friends, and they were fiercely loyal to everyone and to each other. My grandmother told me that a crucial part of what made her love my grandfather was that he let her be who she was and he let her have her independence.  My grandmother sat by my grandfather’s side when he was dying of Parkinson’s disease, over eight hours a day for over two years.  And my paternal grandparents were adorable co-pilots. They were always together. He called my grandmother ‘BT’ in public, which stood for Baby Tush. Not to mention my parents are such a solid team. They have both have worked full time since I was six weeks old, but we ate dinner together as a family every night growing up."

 

 

ON BEING BALD: “I was diagnosed with alopecia at eighteen months. They thought it was just normal baby hair loss and my grandmother was like, ‘No way. I read something about this in Reader's Digest.’ My Nana Claire told me when I was very young, ‘you have such a beautiful head, that's why God didn't put hair on it, so everyone could see.’ People want to know: Is alopecia is genetic or hereditary? What is the difference? I was an athlete as a child into my adolescent years and then I quit to smoke pot and cigarettes and eat chicken fingers at midnight with the gay boys and the theatre dorks at the diner in high school. I had this feeling that since I didn’t have any hair, I needed to have a perfect body to compensate for my situation if I really wanted to get a boyfriend which was suddenly and for the first time “the goal.” Today I think who needs hair? I am grateful for my hairless body. I like my almost non existent boobs, my slim waist, my not-thin-at-all-extremely-strong legs and my butt. I really like my tush. Anyway, I might have a bald kid. Even if there was some advanced technology to give my unborn child hair, I don’t know that I'd do it. I really have no idea but I do know that if the kid came out bald, I'd just say, 'there are a lot of benefits to this —  and you are beautiful and we look like each other and we will always be done taking a shower before all of the hairy people we live with. Also no ingrown hairs, no razor burn, no weird nipple or chin hairs, no waxing. We have so much to be grateful for, Baldie.’”

 

ON BODY, MIND AND SOUL: “I go to Physique 57 five times a week. It helps me clear my mind so I can be calm and focused. I get all of my angst and aggression out on that playground ball. Otherwise, I run long distances. Also, I go to psychoanalysis four times a week on the Upper West Side. I try not eat food that makes me sick, which is dairy, gluten, soy and eggs. But I don’t deny myself an ice cream cone or a piece of pie if it looks amazing. I got really into Kimberly Snyder’s glowing green smoothie last summer from her book The Beauty Detox — love her whole concept of food combining and conserving beauty energy. I drink water from the moment I wake up until I go to bed. I try to meditate every day. I try to spend the hours I am not working with people who love me the most. I like a really packed full life, I thrive from it. This all probably sounds insane, the workout regimen, the food stuff — but I am the happiest I have ever been in my whole life. It’s my routine. It works for me.”

 

ON CAREER STUFF: “My career trajectory is interesting. I have worked in event production, theatre and film, all of which are industries that you have to work extremely hard. The hours are crazy; you need to be extremely detail oriented and hyper-focused. Now I’m the Chief Creative Officer of Honor. It’s relentless. Fashion trumps everything because of the calendar. You are always dealing with three collections, and then all of the other stuff that you need to do to be a competitive brand in the marketplace. It is not for the weary or the faint of heart. I didn’t grow up with this passion for fashion. I just have always worked extremely hard and said yes to new opportunities. Everything I have ever done professionally, I had never done before. I always had the attitude of ‘I’ll figure it out’.  I believe in the old adage: Work Hard And Be Nice to People. Giovanna Randall, the Head Designer and CEO of Honor, has taught me how to be uncompromising when it comes to the vision. I am really proud of the results that we achieve with each runway show, campaign, shoot, all of it. Its always beautiful and unique.”

 

 

HER FANTASY WEDDING: “Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor’s second marriage. I love that they tried again. I’d wear a backless gold lame jumpsuit with a matching turban, huge sunglasses and tons of gold jewelry. I’d take Elliot Gould as my date. We would ditch the afterparty, get matzo ball soup at Canters while discussing our deep Jewish identity, then drive to Malibu with the top down and spend the night making out on the beach.”

 

FAVE LOVE MOVIE: “I will watch When Harry Met Sally over and over and over again. I live and die for the New Years Eve Scene.”

 

FAVE LOVE BOOK: “Call Me By My Name by Andre Aciman, a story of two young gay boys in love in the summer in Italy. I sobbed when it was over.”

 

FAVE LOVE SONG: “I love 'Harvest Moon’ by Neil Young, and ‘Just Like Heaven’ by The Cure. ‘Willow’ by Joan Armatrading. Also ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ by Frank Sinatra and ‘Stand By Me’ when John Lennon sings it.”