Famed style expert Rachel Zoe teams up with Robin Moraetes to bring their wildly popular blow-dry bar, DreamDry, to Chicago.
Robin Moraetes (LEFT) and Rachel Zoe aim to give clients an elevated blow-dry experience.
Fashion icon Rachel Zoe has gained worldwide celebrity for dressing A-list celebs like Jennifer Lawrence and Sofia Vergara. Her latest project? Helping women pump up what she calls “the ultimate accessory”—their hair. Alongside CEO and partner Robin Moraetes, the two have made a serious impact in the beauty world with their conceptual blow-dry bar, DreamDry. What opened in early 2013 as one salon in New York City is now on the way to becoming a mini empire, as the duo has launched its third DreamDry location, open now in Lincoln Park.
“DreamDry has a level of sophistication that doesn’t exist at other blow-dry bars,” attests Moraetes, the salon’s head of operations, who is committed to personalizing blowouts for clients. “With Dream (DIY), clients can choose any updo style from our Instagram or bring in their own picture, and our team will re-create it.” This means stylists go through a rigorous training program—the DreamDry Academy—and are well versed in handling all lengths and textures of hair. “We offer more styles than any other blow-dry salon,” continues Moraetes, “including blowouts, ponytails, braids, and updos.” The entire process takes under 40 minutes, but could take as little as 20 for one of its no-shampoo styles, such as an Audrey Hepburn–inspired topknot. Oribe and Kérastase products are used exclusively, “simply because they are the best, and we want our clients to experience the luxury and those long-lasting benefits.” The bar’s Dream Dryer blow-dryers are quick, quiet, exclusive to the salon, and available for purchase. VIP memberships are on offer as well.
Zoe curates the rotating “on-trend” styles inspired by those seen on the runway and red carpet to accompany the available styles, all of which are named after classic beauties, from the long, loose, soft waves of the Farrah to the undone, messy rocker hair of the Stevie. “We were inspired by fashion icons whose looks have remained classic throughout the decades,” says Zoe. “We also wanted to curate a selection of styles that our clients would be able to enjoy from day to night.”
The chic, minimalist interior of a DreamDry salon.
Moraetes, who met Zoe while living in LA, sees the partnership as an ideal one—and a true division of labor. “We both collaborate on the overall vision of DreamDry, including the design of the logo and the interiors,” she says. “But Rachel is really all things creative and leads the charge in identifying the styles our clients will love and curating our look books. I spend my time running the business and marketing side and on the overall growth of the brand and the business, including plotting new locations like Chicago.”
The 1,600-square-foot salon also houses a highly curated collection of goods from local designers. Says Zoe, “Chicago is home to incredible design talent, and we’re excited to partner with several designers to showcase a selection of the season’s standout jewelry and accessories.” The space, in keeping with their feminine yet modern aesthetic, is bright and glamorous, with a marble chevron floor and understated accents in black, gold, and silver—a luxe atmosphere that reinforces the mission to make any woman “look and feel amazing in about 40 minutes,” says Zoe. “The salon was really conceptualized for on-the-go women—moms, busy professionals, travelers—but now it’s expanded to all kinds of clients.”
Chicago holds a special place in Moraetes’ heart—she spent summers in Lincoln Park with her grandparents, going to camp and to Cubs games—and she knows the women of Chicago well. “Rachel and I deliberately chose Chicago,” she says. “Chicago women are savvy, fashion-forward, and understand that beauty is inside and out. We simply want to be a resource for them—and also take inspiration from them.” 904 W. Armitage Ave., 773-697-8172