Friday, February 22, 2008

Isaac Mizrahi Leaving Target

Although it’s old news by now, I’ve been holding off on blogging about this because the thought of it almost makes me cry. But last month, Liz Claiborne announced that designer Isaac Mizrahi would be leaving Target to become the creative director of Liz Claiborne's better-priced women's division. Which means that after 5 wonderful years, there will be no more Isaac Mizrahi line at Target :-(

Now I was CRUSHED to hear this news! As an avid Target shopper and a HUGE fan of IM (even before his association with Target) I hate to see the end of his mass-market line. IM for Target was always my go-to option for fashionable, fun, and affordable career clothing. I cannot tell you how many of his things I’ve purchased at Target (clothing, handbags, shoes) that have kept me on trend AND on budget.

When IM first joined Target, he was going through a metamorphosis: after a successful fashion run in the 1990s, he was forced to shut down his design business in 1998 after Chanel (his financial backer) pulled out due to concerns about low sales figures. He then decided to take a break from fashion and dabbled in both publishing and theater. But in 2003 he returned to his fashion roots – with a twist – when he signed a deal with Target to bring high fashion to the average, cost-conscious consumer. With prices topping out at less than $100, Isaac’s Target line signaled a clear departure from his earlier big-ticket designs.

Now the magic question is: who does Target bring on next? Some have speculated (or wished for!) Marc Jacobs or Michael Kors to step in as a replacement. I say, dream on. I think whomever steps in has to be a big name (but not TOO big) or someone on the verge of (or needing) a comeback. Someone a bit edgy – like Isaac - who can bring hip yet classy clothing to the masses.

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