You’ll need to flip the book back and forth to get the full impact of Isaac Mizrahi’s autobiography. Flip! Huge “I”. Flip! Huge “M”.
Isaac Mizrachi. Perhaps “I, Marvelous”? Or “Isaac, Minnelli”?
The diva designer/actor/QVC flak has unzipped all the details (good, bad, sexy and, yes, even phone sex!) of his life and career (starry-eyed man meets and works for stars . . . think Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker).
And what an absolute joy (do we dare add “and right on Target”?) I.M.: A Memoir (Flatiron Books, $28.99) is.
So, what was your first introduction to I.M.? Are you one of the people who was lucky enough to get your hands on the designer’s early line in the early ’90’s? Was it the first time you saw his behind-the-scenes documentary, Unzipped? Or when you stepped into a Target and saw that there was a new line by the designer being sold there? (My pooch still loves her official I.M. dog toy!)
Maybe you’ve seen Isaac during one of his cabaret shows in New York City or, flipping through the channels at home only to realize that the charming host you’ve been watching on QVC is none other than the designer himself?
In I.M., Mizrahi offers a poignant, candid, and touching look back on his life so far. And what a life it’s been. He tells the story of growing up gay in a sheltered Syrian Jewish Orthodox family, portraying a strained relationship with his father and a complicated one with his beloved mother. At the famed LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts, Isaac found his people (and appeared in his first movie, Fame). As a budding fashion designer, Isaac worked with luminaries such as Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein.
After branching out on his own, his label’s instant success anointed him the wunderkind of the international fashion world. Isaac’s unique talents drew him into fashion and celebrity circles that read like a who’s who of the 20th and 21st centuries: Richard Avedon, Audrey Hepburn, Anna Wintour, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey. He looks back on his groundbreaking documentary, Unzipped, and after his first fall from grace, his partnership with Target that brought his high-end collection to the masses and revolutionized fashion retail.
Isaac describes his numerous self-reinventions that landed him back to his first true calling of show business. He delves into his lifelong battles with his weight, insomnia, and depression. He tells what it was like to be an out gay man in a homophobic age and to witness the ravaging effects of the AIDS epidemic. In his elegant memoir, brimming with intimate details and inimitable wit, Isaac reveals not just the glamour of his years, but the grit beneath the glitz. Rich with memorable stories from in and out of the spotlight, I.M. illuminates deep emotional truths.