NEW YORK — Isaac Mizrahi continues to straddle the worlds of mass and class, selling off-the-rack fashions at Target and made-to-order at Bergdorf Goodman.
For his next project, however, the designer wanted to hit a spot somewhere in the middle, and so the idea of what he calls "semi-couture" was born. The collection of 10 pieces will launch exclusively at Bergdorf's in two weeks.
Unlike the custom collection Mizrahi launched at the specialty store last year, semi-couture features off-the-rack pieces in four sizes and wide, basted seams that will be finished for customers in just one sitting with a store seamstress.
"Semi-couture is the perfect thing," Mizrahi quipped. "You can go in and change a little something, and have it made to your body without having to wait for six weeks. It's like instant gratification for the couture customer."
Robert Burke, Bergdorf's senior vice president of the fashion office, said the store has been very successful with the made-to-order collection. "There is a consumer who wants one of a kind, but that same consumer also wants more immediate gratification," Burke said.
The semi-couture collection revolves around a double-faced wool denim and a gold brocade fabric sourced at Gandini in Italy. "I used to work with Mrs. Gandini in my various jobs and also when I had my own line," Mizrahi recalled. "I remember that she always had the most beautiful fabrics in the world. When I worked on this project, that made it easier. I don't have to beg a mill to finish something differently. Gandini does all of that for us."
Each piece is lined with a silk organza, and couture details include hand-stitching, crinoline and mesh underlays. Pieces include a gold brocade frock coat, a brocade cropped jacket, a brocade balcony dress, fine cashmere sweaters, a double-faced wool denim jacket and a pencil skirt.
Mizrahi president Jayne Harkness said the plan is to keep the venture very exclusive. That said, at retail prices from $2,800 to $6,800, semi-couture is more democratic than the made-to-order pieces, which retail between $6,400 and $30,000.
The new collection is to be presented twice a year alongside the custom collection and will hang together with it on Bergdorf's fourth floor.Burke declined to disclose sales projections for the collection, but said: "The Isaac customer continues to be very educated, and [Isaac] is such a recognized man. Because they have such an intimate relationship with the designs, my guess is that it will be equal in business or even more successful than the couture."
As for Mizrahi, he just wishes he could convince other companies to jump on the semicustom bandwagon.
"I am in the middle of doing up my house on the beach," Mizrahi said. "Every time I order a couch, it's 16 weeks away and I just want to faint. I want the couch now. I wish I could go into a place, and they would tell me, 'wait a week or two and then you'll have it.' This is what semi-couture is."
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)