On September 18th, Runway to Hope celebrated their 7th annual Fall Fashion Collection Brunch at The Mall at Millenia. Hundreds of attendees were able to enjoy a delicious brunch and stylish fall collection presentations by participating stores with proceeds benefitting the RTH Family Assistance Program. As if the annual event wasn’t fabulous enough with luxurious giveaways and fun fall fashion, the show was also hosted by award winning fashion and beauty journalist, stylist and television host, Zanna Roberts Rassi! Zanna is the Senior Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, an E! News Fashion Correspondent, a Project Runway All Stars mentor, an NBC Today Show fashion contributor and—as you’ll quickly notice—a woman who’s always on the go! Last month, Zanna found some time to chat with Orlando Style about fashion, life lessons and her thoughts on the beloved Runway To Hope Fall Fashion Collection Brunch.

OS: When and how did you first fall in love with fashion?

ZRR: I suppose from an early age my mother would read the big magazines—Marie Claire or Vogue—and I would definitely be the girl who would tear up their clothes and try to recreate the outfit. I was twelve years old trying to recreate a Gucci look I’d seen on the pages of Vogue. I suppose that’s when I realized that I had a passion for it, but it really started with the beauty industry. I was a beauty editor first and foremost. You’ve got these beautiful magazines and everything that goes into them from the shoot to the words, the branding and everything behind it. It was just this package that I was just completely taken with and very, very curious about.

OS: What do you enjoy the most about your job?

ZRR: I’m always bouncing around! I have so many different things going on now and I think that’s the beauty of it. Two days are never the same. This morning I had a makeup campaign meeting and then I had a meeting with Marie Claire, then later on I’ll be prepping for an E! News segment. There’s just so many different points of the career. It’s fascinating to do so many things. They all feed into one another. I think the job as an editor now is so much more diverse—I love that! Your branding, your marketing, your writing, your styling, your presenting. It’s all about the consumer at the end of the day.

OS: What advice do you have for aspiring professionals in your industry?

ZRR: Have a focus to start with. Figure out where you want to be, what you want to do. Be very open to change. Be diligent. Be very informed. Stay informed. Read as much as you can about the industry and the world you want to work in if you’re not already in it. You can’t go and do this just because you want to be famous. You can’t go to fame school. It’s about having a real passion for it. Be really nice to people around you. I don’t think anyone got anywhere by being a b-i-t-c-h, but maybe they did! That’s just not my way of doing it. I think you meet a lot of people in this industry and you have to see the cool in everyone and understand the different roles and the different people it takes to make up any kind of communication—be it a magazine, be it a blog, be it a TV show. Just really be informed. Knowledge is power.

OS: What was it like to host the Runway To Hope Fall Fashion Collection Brunch?

ZRR: Isn’t it great that we can work in an industry like fashion and beauty and be able to use our passion for the industry to help causes? I think that’s closing the circle. The actual event itself—Runway To Hope at The Mall at Millenia—was just flawless. They executed it so well from the brunch to the food to the flowers to the location. It was all done so, so well. It was beyond expectation, just perfection! I loved meeting Josie and Mark NeJame who started Runway To Hope. They’re wonderful, warm people who just really cared. They really, truly cared about every single person involved in the organization and about the children. Meeting those kids and the families after the event was one of my favorite parts.

OS: What fashion trends do you see being huge this fall? Anything surprising?

ZRR: There’s going to be lots of velvet. There’s going to be a return of chunkier shoes. When it comes to surprises, there’s that whole granny-chic look coming back. I think we were so long in this athleisure mode. I almost feel like maybe it’s going back to a much more ladylike, refined, elegant look. Being in fashion, you push it so far and it’s like an elastic band that stretches and stretches and stretches and then all of a sudden someone lets it go and it’s back to the beginning. Heels get really, really, really high and then all of a sudden you’re on flats. Pants get wider and wider and wider and then all of a sudden it’s back to skinny pants. More is more this fall. I think we’ve been through a phase of less is more and I think we’re coming back…there are pearls on everything. It’s embellishments, it’s layers, it’s embroidering, it’s beautiful! There’s going to be more detail this season.

OS: Any exciting personal projects that you’re working on?

ZRR: I think that would be Milk Makeup for me! It’s a beauty line that we started at the beginning of the year. It’s been an incredible year of growth and working with people like Sephora and Urban Outfitters. We have our campaign for our spring collection coming up so that for me is kind of the focus right now. It’s just been an amazing journey of learning and creating really fantastic makeup products that people love and it’s just so satisfying. I’m looking forward to evolving that even more and growing.

Orlando Style wishes you all the best, Zanna!

For more information visit:
Marie Clarie: www.marieclaire.com
Milk Makeup: www.milkmakeup.com
Runway To Hope: www.runwaytohope.org