There’s a new designer for the Insta-generation in town. New York-based Eli Mizrahi, who spends his time jet-setting with the influencer set, has created his own label, Mônot, for his famous friends. The line is intended to cater to a niche in the market for affordable yet glamorous occasion-wear for “elegant bad girls” who won’t wear the same dress twice but don’t wish to pay Balmain prices, the fledgling designer summed up over coffee at the Crillon, where he was giving a preview of his “collection zero.” Prices for the collection will range from $350 to around $1,500 at retail.
True to his online-first mind-set, Mizrahi, who honed his business acumen as a youth selling jewelry at flea markets, hashtagged Instagram for a couture patternmaker to create his first collection, composed of 26 dramatic looks largely in black-and-white silk crêpe and sequins. After trying out several unsuccessfully, he stumbled on an Esmod professor based in Beirut, Lebanon, from whence Mizrahi originally hails, who helped finalize the designs.
The samples were produced by Syrian refugees working in Lebanon, a cause that resonates with the designer, who arrived in New York at the age of 13 as a political refugee.
Business-wise, Mizrahi — who is no relation to Isaac — said he is looking for feedback, rather than sales, from his first collection. Nevertheless, high-profile retailers like Net-a-porter and Matchesfashion had already booked in to see the designs.