Isaac Mizrahi's clothes for Liz Claiborne hit department stores beginning in March, and judging from the ad in last Sunday's New York Times T magazine, he's got some good stuff.
The clever ad, shot by 68-year old veteran Arthur Elgort, was one of the very few pages from which I might actually choose something I could afford.
Mizrahi ups the reality ante by using only one person in the shoot who's a model. The rest are friends of people involved in the campaign, including several blog editors in pink (SpoutBlog's Karen Longworth is seated in the centre in a dress, DailyCandy's Danielle Kyrillos is in the flowered skirt, at right). And of course there's Isaac in his spring bandanna.
The woman in the menswear suit with the huge boutonierre is a 50-year old construction manager who was working in a Liz Claiborne showroom. Mizrahi said, "I just couldn't get her out of my brain; I kept looking at her, and I was like, 'She's one of our customers too.' "
Mizrahi's strategy is to inject "fun and whimsy" into the brand, apparently in agreement with what Marshal Cohen, a chief industry analyst, who said, "Subdued won’t cut it this spring. Consumers aren’t looking to add more of the same to their wardrobe. They are going to have some pent-up demand, but not enough to go around for every retailer. So those that jump on the dramatic change wagon are going to see some results.”
I know I'll be checking them out; by April, most of the collection will be available online at Liz Claiborne. The few items offered currently are largely sold out.
Apparently Mizrahi's mantra for his design team is 'forever 35'. Not a bad call, as 35 means womanly, not girly, and definitely still in the game.