The Schmooze: June

Catching up with Isaac Mizrahi

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His fashion career began as a yeshiva bochur in his Sephardic neighborhood of Brooklyn, when young Isaac Mizrahi doodled fashion sketches in the margins of his books. Mizrahi's father, who ran a children's clothing company, recognized in his young son a shared love for fashion. So, when Mizrahi was 10, his dad gifted him a sewing machine.

Today, a world-renowned fashion designer, Mizrahi is the Chief Designer for the Isaac Mizrahi brands, a division of Xcel Brands, Inc. He has worked extensively in the entertainment industry as a performer, host, writer, designer, and producer. He served as a judge for Project: Runway: All-Stars; and was the subject and co-creator of Unzipped , a documentary film about the making of his fall 1994 ready-to-wear collection.

Mizrahi has designed clothes for the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Natalie Portman, and Oprah Winfrey. But he doesn't only dress the stars; he has strived to close the gap between high and low fashion--transforming couture looks into off-the-rack prices.

1) What was the last book you read?  

Theatre , by W. Somerset Maugham

2) What's your all-time favorite movie?  

The Red Shoes

3) What's your favorite Jewish food?  

Chocolate babka, which I recently learned how to make.

4) What are you listening to these days?   

Negin Farsad's podcast called Fake the Nation.

5) Who was the last person you texted?  

My husband, to leave the newspaper in the den. Yes, we still get The New York Times delivered every day.

6) If you could invite 3 people (famous or not) to a Shabbat dinner, who would they be?  

Billie Eilish, Billy Porter, and Billy Eichner.  I like the name.

7) If you could have any other occupation, what would it be?

Ballet dancer. I tried when I was a teenager--I was lousy. 

8) Who are two of your biggest role models?  

Mark Twain and George Balanchine (a choreographer).

9) What are you currently binging on TV?

Celebrity Jeopardy!  

10) If you could offer the teen version of yourself one piece of wisdom, what would it be?  

YOU ARE NOT FAT. I was really a fat kid, and when I was about 14, I lost 75 lbs., but I always thought I was fat. It's a body issue thing: If I could go back and know then that I wasn't fat, my life would have been different.

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