By  on April 29, 2009

NEW YORK — The New York Stock Exchange has had its share of grimness in recent months, but on Tuesday, it closed with a splash of color, courtesy of Isaac Mizrahi’s new collection for Liz Claiborne New York.


Liz Claiborne Inc. chief executive officer William McComb and Liz Claiborne New York creative director Isaac Mizrahi rang the closing bell, a daily ceremony they followed with the first-ever fashion show on the trading floor.

“That’s pretty historic, no?” Mizrahi said prior to the event, in the venue’s boardroom, where he and McComb were presented with the gavels — “not to be used as an accessory,” Mizrahi said.

After the closing bell rang, 10 models walked the labyrinthlike floor, and more than a few traders couldn’t conceal their school-boy excitement at the towering beauties.

The designer said he could envision a fashion week show for his main line at the venue. “There are a lot of men and pretty girls,” he said. “It’s like when you see a girl at Yankee Stadium. It will make her seem more girlish and accentuate the feminine.”

The women on the trading floor — few and far between — could certainly use a pop of Isaac amid the sea of suits. Mizrahi wouldn’t mind. “I would like women to wear my clothes anywhere,” he said.

Millions of people see the closing bell around the world. “It was a lot of fun,” said McComb, adding the experience offered a great platform to present “the new Liz Claiborne” as well as “a sign of good things to come.”

For his part, Mizrahi was aware of the moment’s significance. “[LCI] is a public company, so I feel that awareness of the brand in this milieu is important,” he said. “When I design clothing, I keep that in mind. It’s a brand of clothes for real women.”

He was impressed by the trading floor. “The most exciting thing for me was that I did not understand anything,” he joked. “I do not understand anything about the stock market. But I will admit that I own some Liz Claiborne stock.

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