NEW YORK — With the Fort Hamilton High School Marching Band playing in the Fifth Avenue store window and top brass from Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus gathered inside, this was no ordinary Wednesday morning. This was Elie Tahari Day, proclaimed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
“We’re here to honor a fashion legend on the occasion of his 40th anniversary,” said city official Robert Goldrich. “Elie is a big proponent and supporter of Save the Garment Center, a nonprofit that serves to promote, preserve and save New York City as the world’s fashion capital by supporting, connecting and advocating for local factories, suppliers and designers.”
As part of his special day, Tahari donated $35,000 to Save the Garment Center from proceeds from sales of a dress he created (and sold at his boutiques worldwide ) for Season 2 of “Project Runway All Stars,” where Tahari served as judge.
Helping to celebrate the occasion were Saks’ Stephen Sadove, Ron Frasch and Joseph Boitano; Neiman’s Ken Downing; Bergdorf’s Linda Fargo; Sharon Wax, vice president, divisional merchandise manager of Bloomingdale’s; Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the Council of Fashion Designers of America; Meryl Poster, president of television at The Weinstein Co. (which owns “Project Runway”); Bernard Aidan, ceo of Catherine Malandrino, and Joan Rivers.
Dressed in an Elie Tahari ensemble, Rivers addressed the audience. “I’m really thrilled to be here. I’d be more thrilled to be at the plastic surgeon’s, but I’m thrilled to be here. We’re here to honor [Elie] for 40 years of chic, wearable, affordable clothes that make women look terrific and sexy and appropriate, and that’s an amazing accomplishment.”
She called Tahari “truly the American dream.” She recalled how he came to New York with no money, slept on a park bench, worked hard and took every advantage he could. “He started with the tube top, and I was one of the first people to buy the tube top,” she said. “I’m still wearing it today,” added Rivers, who said it’s now a skirt that sags down her legs.
Rivers said she has gotten to know Tahari on a personal level and wears his clothes on “Fashion Police.”
“He’s wonderful, kind, humble and grateful. He’s a terrific father.
“You’re such a New York American story, which is so wonderful. You’re a kind man, you’re a generous man, and I hope we’ll all be here for your 80th,” she concluded.
Goldrich read the proclamation, which said, in part, that Tahari’s founding of his company 40 years ago has helped ensure that New York remains at the center of the fashion world. “A longtime leader in the industry, this organization has introduced many pioneering designs and played an integral role in the launch of worldwide fashion trends.” The proclamation noted that the Elie Tahari label has a global presence on five continents and is sold in more than 600 stores worldwide. “Our administration continues to support New York-based designers like Elie Tahari, as well as the entire New York City fashion scene through initiatives such Fashion NYC 2020, which will help expand the industry and maintain our position as a fashion leader,” the proclamation said.
Tahari, who wished everyone a happy new year, said, “The city of New York gave me everything. I came to New York and lived in a shelter for runaway boys. I had no place to stay. I remember my first job was selling hats and gloves in Newark, N.J., outside in a bus station, and we would chase the people who used to steal our hats and gloves.”
Living and working in New York, he learned everything about fashion from the hippie days of the Seventies to back to nature, raw edge, deconstruction and high tech. “That’s what our collection today is about,” he said. But years ago it was about selling tube tops. “All of that happened in this city. I don’t know any other city in the world where this could have happened,” said the designer.
He gave a special thank you to Rivers.
“When I grow up, I want to be just like her. To be happy and make other people happy. That’s what life is all about.”
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)