Isaac Mizrahi and the Chevy Malibu.

NEW YORK — Designers find their inspiration in all sorts of places, but Isaac Mizrahi has gone to an unexpected source for his next project — the automotive industry.

This story first appeared in the August 7, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Mizrahi is teaming up with Chevrolet to create a capsule apparel collection inspired by the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu — the carmaker’s first global midsize sedan. The limited-edition pieces, which will launch on LivingSocial this fall, will be influenced not just by the design of the car itself, but also the kinds of women who would be driving it. The car was designed to appeal to women as much as men, and General Motors reportedly turned to four female engineers for their input.


RELATED STORY: Isaac Mizrahi Breaking Into Fragrance >>


For Mizrahi, the Chevy association was a no-brainer. “For me, the greatest part of my job is design,” he told WWD. “I love beautiful objects and this car is beautiful.

“If you look at the car, there are certain angles, lines and thoughts that evoke ideas about clothes,” he added. “There is this incredible blue light in the car, which is already inspiring me.”

The Malibu Collection will also be featured on chevymalibustyle.com and facebook.com/IsaacMizrahi. Visitors will be able to view special videos and create Malibu-inspired fashion collages. They can also ask Mizrahi style-related questions on the site.

“We don’t do things until they feel right and this just felt right — the idea of this particular car and reaching women,” Mizrahi said. “I do think it will solve a lot of problems for her.”

While a car collection may seem like a novel spin on the genre of special collaborations, Mizrahi pointed out that he’s not the first designer to embrace the car business.

“When I was a kid, I remember Bill Blass had an association with a car, and it was so exciting to me then,” Mizrahi said, referring to Blass’ work on Ford’s Lincoln Mark series in the Seventies. “It felt so new. This is my way of reinventing it.”

Mizrahi may be looking to reinvent the wheel but has little impetus to get behind it himself much. “I am not the biggest driver in world,” he said. “I get driven a lot, being from New York.”