TWO ELIES: When designer Elie Tahari was honored by the American Jewish Committee last week, he turned to the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Elie Wiesel, to present his award. Wiesel might not seem like an obvious choice, as the scholar himself confessed not to know a lot about fashion, so he instead offered a discourse on the Bible, referring to the story of Adam and Eve wearing no clothing in the Garden of Eden until God made them cover themselves, becoming, in essence, the first fashion designers. From there came the inevitable comparison to Tahari, whose early life was filled with struggle. “To make something from nothing with nothing is quite an accomplishment,” Wiesel said. But it took a bit longer than seven days.

This story first appeared in the May 9, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.