As one of the original cast members of Bravo Television’s Real Housewives of New York, Jill Zarin is no stranger to the spotlight. Zarin, who had a major career in fashion and textiles before being tapped for RHONY, has leveraged her platform into an array of acting, business and philanthropic endeavors.
On the movie front, Zarin has acted in “Night of the Wild,” a horror film co-starring Rob Morrow and Kelly Rutherford; an episode of the hit show “White Collar”; and the in-development comedy series “Altered Reality,” in which she stars alongside cast members from other Housewives franchises. On the TV front, Zarin appeared on reality TV shows such as ”Real Housewives of New York,” “Millionaire Matchmaker,” “David Tutera’s CELEBrations,” and “Celebrity Wife Swap.” Zarin also appeared as an on-air TV personality on “The Today Show,” “Wendy Williams,” and “Good Morning America.”
In 2010, Zarin co-authored a book titled “Secrets of a Jewish Mother” with Lisa Wexler and Gloria Kamen. Written alongside Zarin’s mom and sister, the book comprised of recipes, advice, and parenting tips.
Entrepreneurial by nature, Zarin is currently juggling design ventures in both home décor and fashion. While her previous licenses included Jill Zarin Bedding and Jill Zarin Jewelry, in 2016 Zarin launched Jill Zarin Rugs, the first product category in the Jill Zarin Home collection. Chic, affordable, stain-resistant and ultra pet-friendly, the rugs, which are sold at Kohl’s and Macys as well as jillzarin.com, bear names like Anguilla, Cape Town and Tribeca and reflect Zarin’s well-traveled, enviable lifestyle. Zarin also launched a clock line in 2020. Next up for the Home collection: Furniture.
In the apparel space, Zarin launched Skweez Couture Shapewear and Hosiery. And just this year, she co-launched Jill & Ally. The brand, a collaboration with her daughter Allyson Shapiro, sprang from a handful of tie-dyed face masks Ally created for herself that immediately went viral. After having already established Noshes for Nurses, a highly successful Go Fund Me to raise money to feed essential workers, Zarin and her daughter decided to go all in on the wildly comfy, hand-dyed masks and donate one for every one sold. To date, more than 25,000 masks by Jill & Ally have been donated to healthcare and essential workers. Noshes for Nurses is also still going strong, and has raised $70,000 and distributed 200,000+ meals to the staffs of hospitals, police stations and fire departments.
A graduate of Simmons College School of Retail Management, Zarin previously held a number of executive positions in the apparel industry and is an expert in textiles. Beginning her career as an Assistant Buyer for a department store, she steadily worked her way up through the management ranks, becoming National Sales Manager at Jockey Hosiery, an $150 million dollar men’s hosiery brand. Later, after marrying the late Bobby Zarin, she consulted for Zarin Fabrics, a Lower East Side Manhattan institution established in 1936.
Zarin currently resides in Boca Raton, Florida, where her home doubles as the global headquarters for Jill & Ally. When she’s not on the phone with factories & overseeing the production of the brand’s growing lineup of products (hint: tie-dye hoodies and sweats are in the works), or hiring employees for the rapidly growing, women-owned and operated company, Zarin can be found on the tennis court or hanging out with family, friends and Bossi, her beloved Pomeranian.