NEW YORK — Not one to miss an opportunity, the ever-present Isaac Mizrahi has added fur to his portfolio.
Through a licensing deal with Alixandre Furs, a company he has worked with informally off and on for the past 25 years, the designer will add fur outerwear and fur-trimmed ready-to-wear and accessories to his Isaac Mizrahi made-to-order collection for fall.
Mizrahi isn’t exactly a newcomer to the fur industry, having worked with fur since he was a design assistant at Perry Ellis and later at Calvin Klein. “It was a big part of my formative experience. I learned how to make fur from the ground up. I’m sort of like a Pavlovian dog that salivates when it hears bells. I love fur,” said Mizrahi.
Not straying from his whimsical spirit, he will serve up furs in pink, emerald, silver and other offbeat hues. Geared for department and specialty stores, the collection will include fur coats, shearlings, fur-trimmed coats and fur-lined coats. First-year projected wholesale volume is $2 million, according to Lawrence Schulman, vice president of Alixandre Furs. Wholesale prices will range from $1,500 to $100,000.
“His sense of humor and whole outlook is something that is needed in the fur market. He has a different point of view that is more fun and modern,” Schulman said. “Plus, he’s a friend.”
Alixandre Furs produced Perry Ellis-licensed furs for 11 years, and now makes fur-trimmed rainwear under the Jane Charney for Alixandre label, as well as licensed furs for Oscar de la Renta.
“We’re not interested in just making pieces. We want to know who designers are and what their designs are all about,” Schulman said.
Fur will be on the runway at Mizrahi’s High/Low fall 2004 show, which will showcase his made-to-order styles as well as his designs for Target, at Cipriani’s on June 14. Indicative of the way women dress, “or would dress if they could,” the designer plans to pair basics with luxe pieces, such as a $5,000 sable coat with a $10 Target T-shirt.
In the meantime, fans can buy tickets at StubHub.com to a sneak-preview taping of the Isaac Mizrahi Show, the designer’s talk show that’s in development for NBC. Proceeds will benefit the Museum of Radio and Television, founded in 1975 by William Paley.
— Rosemary Feitelberg