Mizrahi, Isaac

(1961- )
   Born in Brooklyn, New York, and educated at Parsons School of Design, Mizrahi worked for Perry Ellis, Jeffrey Banks, and Calvin Klein before opening his small Holiday collection at the age of twenty-seven in 1987. He was in business for only two years when he won the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) award for new talent. The following year he earned their Designer of the Year Award and, in 1992, won it again. In a push to promote and capitalize on American design talent, Chanel entered into a partnership with Mizrahi in 1992. In 1994, Mizrahi hosted his own talk show on the cable channel Oxygen and, in 1995, along with his lover Douglas Keeves, made a hit movie documentary about the life of a fashion designer, Unzipped, distributed by Miramax. That same year, Mizrahi launched a secondary line called Isaac (a less expensive bridge collection), licensed his name to an outerwear collection, and, in 1996, designed a line of clothing that he sold on the cable TV network Nickelodeon. Due to mounting losses, Chanel pulled the plug and closed Mizrahi's bridge line Isaac in 1997 and the signature line in 1998. Mizrahi sued Chanel in 2001 for breach of their partnership agreement and for the rights to use his own name, which he won.
   Mizrahi's passion for the entertainment industry prompted him to form a production company called Baby in 1998 with his vice president of public relations, Nina Santisi, and he played a small part in Woody Allen's film Celebrity. Mizrahi has licensed his name to eye-wear, footwear, handbags, leather accessories, and fine jewelry. He has also dabbled in theatrical costume design for the Broadway play The Women, staged a one-man off-Broadway cabaret show (Les Mizrahi), penned a series of comic books (The Adventures of Sandee the Supermodel), and won two more CFDA awards, all while continuing to design a line of inexpensive clothes for Target since 2003. In 2005, he launched a collection of made-to-measure clothes in partnership with Bergdorf Goodman and began production on Isaac, a talk show on cable television. In 2006, Mizrahi inked a licensing deal for two footwear collections, a couture line, and a bridge collection, designed aprons for workers at the Smithsonian Institute Conservation Center, and caused controversy for his bold behavior as a red carpet commentator for the E! Network.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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