“She was everything to me,” the Riverdale actress told Elle in a Wednesday, January 12, interview. “Rachel Bilson was the fashion inspiration for me growing up. To me, she was the epitome of laid-back, chic style. God, she was the coolest.”
Whether she was rocking halter tops and headbands in the halls of The Harbor School or a pair of jeans under her dress on the red carpet, Bilson, now 40, was the ultimate ‘90s fashionista.
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And get this: Mendes even snagged Bilson’s phone number once upon a time. “I met her once at a party and we exchanged numbers. I guess there was a bond there. Like, ‘teen stars,’” the actress recalled. “She was like, ‘Text me if you ever need anything.’ Of course I didn’t have the courage to do it. So I still have Rachel Bilson’s number in my phone — if she hasn’t changed it I guess!”
The Hart of Dixie actress and Mendes don’t just share star status, they also both have a lifelong love of Chanel — on screen and off.
“My love of Chanel goes way back,” Mendes told the outlet. “For my graduation gift from high school, my dad got me my first Chanel bag. It was an orange metallic crossbody bag — really unique — and I was obviously so excited. I still have it.”
While the handbags will forever and always be a favorite, the brand’s perfume also holds a special place in her heart. “My mom’s favorite perfume is Chanel,” the Dangerous Lies actress revealed. “Every year for Christmas, we ask her what she wants and she goes, ‘Just get me my Chanel.’ It’s very glamorous!”
Mendes, who works with stylist Molly Dickson, was not only outfitted in exclusively Chanel for her Elle photo shoot, but the actress has also showed up to a slew of events and red carpets decked out in Chanel.
In December 2021, she flew out to Miami to celebrate 100 Years of Chanel No. 5 at Art Basel. For the party, she wore a pink short-sleeve cardigan with jewel detailing and black jeans. Of course, she also carried the cutest Chanel clutch that had a unique marble finish.