The newly married Isaac Mizrahi hasn’t finalized any family planning, but he will introduce a clothing line for babies this fall.
For the first time in his 30-year career, the designer is launching a signature collection for newborns and infants. Xcel Brands Inc. has lined up a licensing deal with bon bébé to manufacture and distribute newborn, infant apparel and accessories for the Isaac Mizrahi New York brand.
Children’s wear is something he has known inside and out since he was a youngster. During the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, his father, Isadore, ran Rydal Manufacturing, a boys’ apparel line. Mizrahi said Ellie Fishman, the former grand dame of children’s wear, whose Youngland showroom was next door to his father’s, was the first person who ever looked at his sketches and she became a great mentor of his.
During a phone interview Wednesday from Los Angeles where he was making the talk-show rounds for “Project Runway All Stars,” he said, “Ellie and my father taught me that you can have all the best ideas but without the right execution they are not going to work. That’s why I am so excited about this partnership. We are all on the same page. We didn’t have to sit in a room for hours. We knew exactly the niche we were going after.”
The new collection includes a black and white group that is meant to be a funny take on sophisticated adult clothing. The 25-piece infants’ collection will debut in department stores and specialty stores, with girls’ and boys’ clothing expected to be added down the road.
Robert D’Loren, chairman and chief executive officer of Xcel Brands said, “I am very excited to partner with bon bébé to launch our fall 2012 newborn and infant collections. This license is a great addition to our growing brand.”
The designer’s decision to sell baby’s clothes begs the question of his own expansion plans. Mizrahi, who just revealed that he and his boyfriend of six years, Arnold Germer, were married at City Hall on Nov. 30, said they will officially be moving in together this spring once renovations on a three-unit consolidation are complete in his downtown apartment. Until the hammers are laid to rest, he will keep a temporary apartment in his building and Germer will hold onto his own two blocks away. (They continue to live together when they weekend in Bridgehampton.) “Once we have moved in perhaps then we will talk about inhabiting all those rooms. Before we do anything rash, we have to be in the space. It’s not as though the conversation hasn’t come up. I’m really 50-50 on that one.”
The designer is definite about another pursuit. He is designing the costumes and set for Mark Morris’ world premiere at the San Francisco Ballet Feb. 14, as well as the costumes for the choreographer’s “Four Saints in Three Acts” that debuts at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on March 1. “The set for the first ballet is essentially a backdrop but it is mostly about color. I have synthesis — I hear music and I see color. I think that’s why Mark likes working with me,” Mizrahi said.