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Mizrahi’s Target: A ‘Supermodelhero’

Target is launching the first of four installments of "Supermodelhero" on its Web site today, written and directed by Isaac Mizrahi.

NEW YORK — For Isaac Mizrahi, it’s no longer enough for a modern-day supermodel to just strut and strike a pose. She also must be able to maneuver herself through high-speed chases in stiletto heels, fly through the Manhattan sky and protect the world from all things evil.

Today, Target is launching the first of four installments of “Supermodelhero” on its Web site. Mizrahi wrote and directed the online video streams, which feature the trials and tribulations of Haqueensha, a supermodel-cum-action heroine who had been abandoned by her parents as a child and grew up with her grandmother.

The idea sprung up when Mizrahi and the Target team were working on a new hook for the pages devoted to the designer on the Web site.

“We talked about making a behind-the-scenes look at the collection, but I got bored with that thought,” Mizrahi said. “I had started writing the Webisodes about a girl who discovers her superpowers through coming of age as a supermodel.”

Mizrahi enlisted Christine Vachon, who produced movies such as “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Happiness” and “Far From Heaven,” and the duo worked on the four short films starring budding model Yaya Da Costa, a runner-up in “America’s Next Top Model.”

“I preferred her to the winner,” Mizrahi said. “She has such an incredible quality and a real ability when it comes to acting.”

The films feature spring looks from Mizrahi’s collection for Target. According to the  designer, browsers can click on a look and then will be guided to the place on the site where they can purchase the item. “It’s the sophisticated technology every heroine understands except for me,” he quipped.

The first film, “Dream,” will launch today. The three-minute feature shows Haqueensha as a young girl, praying to “fit in” as she falls asleep. She dreams about life as a supermodel, strutting her wares on an all-white catwalk and posing at a photo shoot in a navy and white floral-print coat, a bright green top or a short orange jacket. When a friend is threatened by a group of black-clad thugs, she escapes with him to the roof and flies off with him into the sky. Landing on a distant roof-top, she takes out her compact, then looks at herself, asking, “Am I shiny?”

This story first appeared in the April 1, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Mizrahi remained tight-lipped about the content of future Webisodes, other than to say that “Hair,” “Shoes” and “Transformation” will launch on the site in the next two weeks. He added that he intends to turn “Supermodelhero” into a feature movie. “Anybody who knows me knows how much I love films,” he said. “It’s the karma of my life. I feel like I am an idiot cinematographer. I don’t know how to operate a camera, but give me a cinematographer and I turn into Renoir.”