I knew of Isaac Mizrahi and his movie Unzipped came out when I was at fashion college. His styles were great in a very American sportswear way and I love his take on the prom dress styles.
What I really admired is his resilience. He lost his label so he designed for Target (one of the first big names to). His reasoning, why should people with less money have less style.
It is this practical approach that charms me most. He knows that not everyone can afford the big budget stuff and instead of ignoring them he looks at the commercial reality and makes it happen. A truly admirable aspect of a designer.
I often hear the term designer applied to many people and it’s true that sometimes an idea pops into your head and you have “designed” something. But to be a truly successful designer, that’s all about the hard yards. About week after week, year after year producing commercially successful ranges. That takes true talent, drive and a head for not only numbers but for interpreting the customer. It’s those traits that truly make a designer a success.
I’ve found various copies of Unzipped on YouTube so if you were after something to watch while sewing I can recommend it as a snapshot into the American Industry at the time.