Exclusive Interview: Zoe Saldana, StyleBistro Celebrity Guest Editor

Zoe Saldana (Getty Images)

Zoe Saldana, star of Colombiana and cofounder of MyFDB
If you don't know Zoe Saldana, then you've been living under a rock—a rock under which they wear Birkenstocks with socks. The star of Avatar, whose new action film Colombiana was released Aug. 26, is not just a bona fide movie star. She's one of the best dressed icons in the biz.

But unlike most actresses who dabble in design, Zoe is taking her burning passion for clothes in a wholly different direction with the launch, last year, of My Fashion Database. Zoe says MyFDB is like IMDB for fashion die-hards with an immense archive of lush editorials and ad campaigns plus a directory of fashion credits for every photographer, model, stylist, makeup artist and more.

Just in time for New York Fashion Week, which kicks off Sept. 8, MyFDB has announced the launch of a shopping feature that will enable users to buy product, say, straight off Kristen Stewart's back in the pages of W magazine. Zoe herself will be in New York to fete the launch at a VIP cocktail soiree—and we suspect you might spot her in the front row at Prabal Gurung. Until then, StyleBistro caught up with the 33-year-old to talk shop: See what Zoe has to say about her dream outfit, favorite designers and launching her own line.

StyleBistro: What inspired you to launch MyFDB?
Zoe Saldana: When I was younger and starting out in the business, there was just a lack of information out there when it came to fashion houses, photographers and stylists, and all the people who pretty much work behind the cameras in the whole composition of how editorials and campaigns get made...[MyFDB] just celebrates the credits that push fashion forward, which is really important.

SB: You have a lot of designer friends and the great fortune of wearing such fabulous clothes. Who are some of your favorite designers?
Zoe: They change throughout the years. You know, I grew up knowing so much about Halston and Bill Blass and Diane Von Furstenberg and, now that I've gotten to wear a lot of their designs and I've gotten to meet half of these designers, it has been a dream come true. But there has also been an influx of so many young, hungry, amazing designers like Prabal Gurung, who's one of my closest, closest friends. What Riccardo [Tisci] has been doing at Givenchy is just absolutely stunning. It's such a beautiful, delicate and edgy twist on fashion, with a little bit of film noir, that I go completely bananas about. I love Lanvin, Versace—just everything! I'm such a fashion lover.

SB: Delicate and edgy…is that how you might describe your own personal style?

Zoe: My personal style is literally where the day takes me, or where my mood is at that day. Sometimes you can be in a place where you just don't want to wear color; you want things that are dark and that will spike up whatever you have on the inside. On the reverse side, sometimes you just need some color because you're feeling a little gloomy. I'd rather keep myself as neutral as possible—that way I can enjoy storytelling, which is my primary passion.

SB: I know you've been a supporter of Prabal Gurung's since the beginning, and rumor has it you two are collaborating on a clothing line. What's the scoop?
Zoe: Well, we've talked about it. Not yet, nothing is solidified yet. But it's definitely something we've been throwing out into the universe. Obviously when you have really good friends and people you love and respect, working with them would just be a bonus. So Prabal is definitely a person who I regard in that sense, and I really see myself spending so much time with because we do have a very beautiful friendship and we root for each other spiritually and professionally. I also love working with my stylist, Petra Flannery, who I've learned so much from in the past five years that we've been working together. So starting something with Petra and collaborating with a fashion house would just be a dream come true for the both of us.

SB: Would you ever launch a signature Zoe Saldana collection?
Zoe: I don't know. I feel like I have so much more to learn before I throw myself out there and assume that I can do all these things. I've gained my wisdom by association, through my grandmother when I was growing up and now through so many friends who are linked to fashion and fashion is their first passion; and also in building a website. I'm still in my learning ground and I'd like to continue that by collaborating with people who know what they're doing.

SB: What are you looking forward to wearing this fall?

Zoe: Boots. Black boots. I'm such a New Yorker and sometimes we [Angelenos] don't wear enough black, high, Catwoman kind of boots. I really can't wait to get mine out and dust them off. It's hard in LA where the weather's always sunny and warm, because you kind of feel awkward. I've also been really wanting to wear suits. There's just something about a nice Calvin [Klein] tuxedo or suit. I just feel like it's so feminine because it brings out so much masculinity in a woman while also making her seem delicate.

SB: Where do you like to shop?
Zoe: I like going to those places where you find everything as opposed to going from boutique to boutique—I wish I had the time. If I did have the time, I like going to those little boutiques in SoHo and around the Meatpacking district, and even going to Williamsburg and finding those little unique things that distinguish you from everybody else. But you know, Barneys, the usual. Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys have all the fashion and brands that I love and all the shoes in one place. In the last two years, I really haven't had enough down time to just go shopping on my own, so I've been very grateful that I've been able to wear a lot of designs. Designers send me clothes that I'm able to wear, and some of them I do have to return because they're samples. The others I get to keep, so I've been expanding my collection of amazing pieces by amazing designers and I've felt very humbled by that.

SB: You try a lot of different things on the red carpet, so it's difficult to put you in a box. What is it about a garment that makes you say, "Yes, I want to wear this one"?
Zoe: It depends on a lot of things. Sometimes I defer to my stylist, other times it's my mood. There's usually a story for us. We'll look at the fall collection of Lanvin in Paris—and it was amazing—and then we say, oh my god, this piece would be perfect for this premiere or this press conference or this editorial. Sometimes it's done in advance and we immediately call them; and sometimes designers will just have me in mind in hopes that I'll wear it—and usually I do. One thing, though, is that I don't like to box myself. Not in my work as an actor, not in my life, and much less in my style. I don't want people to always expect something of me. I don't want them to know what I'm going to come up with or what I'm going to do next.


SB: Do you have a dream outfit that you would just die to wear?
Zoe: I think I already did with that Givenchy I wore to the Oscars!…Oh, actually it just happened! I wore this amazing Balmain dress from their resort collection to the premiere of Colombiana in Miami. They personalized it and they gave me a train and everything. I felt so extra-special, like a little girl. I loved it. I absolutely loved it because it was just so rocker, but also flowy and elegant. I went bananas over it.

SB: What skin care products do you love?
Zoe: I'm using La Prairie products a lot and I really like how they feel on my skin, especially the serum. I like the fact that it's really light and it feels really good, but I've always been a Cetaphil kind of girl.

SB: What's in your makeup bag?
Zoe: A lot of Guerlain lipsticks because I love how they taste and they don't have that much fragrance. There's a mineral taste to them, but not overpowering. Their colors are just amazing, and I like their texture. I'm also a huge fan of this ointment that you can only buy in Europe, it's called Homeoplasmine and it's amazing. I put it all over my face and my lips and I always feel moisturized.

SB: If there's one celebrity whose closet you could trade with, who would it be?
Zoe: Oh god, not just one. There's a list. Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton. Chloé Sevigny—I've always loved her style because Chloé plays with different times in fashion. She'll go '70s, she'll do the '60s thing. She listens to her own voice and she has fun with fashion in a very artistic way. Kate Bosworth is also phenomenal. And I have to say that Rachel Bilson…I like that she's just so feminine and so chic all the time. And also obviously Grace Jones. For the love of god, how could we forget!

Get more exclusive fashion + beauty scoop from Zoe Saldana here:
A Scorpio, wife and mother of weiner dogs with a crack-like addiction to fashion. Follow me: Twitter
Comments
Like Us on Facebook
Copyright © 2014 - Livingly Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Livingly: Style