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NEW YORK — Isaac Mizrahi feels at home in front of the cameras — so much so that he will now be using television to sell merch.
This story first appeared in the July 27, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Mizrahi is partnering with QVC, and creating a special lifestyle collection called “Isaac Mizrahi Live” for the network. The collection will bring Mizrahi’s touch to all QVC categories, from apparel to handbags, shoes, jewelry and home decor and kitchen accessories.
The designer and the network have reached a long-term deal, which will kick off with a show featuring the designer in December, though a specific date is not confirmed.
Reached on Friday, Marisa Gardini, president and chief executive officer of Isaac Mizrahi, said the collection will be “very signature Isaac.”
“It will encapsulate Isaac’s design aesthetic, and it’s not going to be too far from what he loves, what he has done in the past and what he intends to do,” Gardini said.
For Mizrahi, the deal with QVC adds another dimension to his multifaceted career that has ranged from Target at the low end, where he designed a collection for five years, to Bergdorf Goodman at the top. Over the years, he has also become a popular television personality, and he once even had his own talk show.
In addition to his own namesake line, Isaac Mizrahi New York, he is now creative director of the better-priced Liz Claiborne New York label, and co-host of a cable TV show. The final episode of the launch season of “The Fashion Show,” which he hosted alongside Kelly Rowland, just aired on the Bravo network.
“I think it’s another extension of the Isaac Mizrahi brand,” Gardini said of the QVC deal. “It exposes Isaac to a bigger audience, and it showcases his personality. It’s almost like having a trunk show every time he sells something, because he can describe the product, reach out to his consumer and audience and speak to them directly.”
Further details of the collection were not available, and price points are still being finalized, but the line will be positioned at QVC’s top designer level.
For QVC, bringing in a high-profile designer like Mizrahi underscores how the network continues to cultivate a more sophisticated fashion following.
Last February, QVC aired a special from the Bryant Park tents, introducing apparel from Lori Goldstein; A List by Alvin Valley; Elisabeth Hasselbeck for Dialogue, and a handbag line by “Desperate Housewives” stylist Cate Adair. It also sells collections by such designers and brands as Bradley Bayou, Bob Mackie, Dennis Basso, Stan Herman, Pamela Dennis, AK Anne Klein, Etienne Aigner, M by Marc Bouwer, B. Makowsky and Simply.Chloe Dao.
As for Mizrahi, he is having a busy summer. In addition to QVC and “The Fashion Show,” he plans to open a 1,500-square-foot store for his own brand on East 67th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues in late August, offering his sportswear and accessories.
QVC, Gardini noted, was a natural progression for the designer. “His whole entire life, Isaac’s mantra has been the marrying of fashion with entertainment,” she said. “Well, here we are.”