Isaac Mizrahi is hopping aboard the fast fashion train.
The designer was on hand at Lord & Taylor’s New York flagship store on Thursday to unveil his latest line, IMNYC, available exclusively at the upscale department store’s 50 locations as well as on lordandtaylor.com.
The lifestyle collection — which takes a “faster fashion” approach by offering weekly deliveries to stores — features contemporary daywear, modern workwear, footwear, handbags and accessories.
While Mizrahi said that he was proud to embrace the fast fashion movement with his latest line, the iconic fashion designer was quick to assert that his new offering is “no flash in the pan.”
“[IMNYC] is fast fashion in that it’s very accessible in terms of the price points,” Mizrahi told Footwear News in an exclusive interview. “The pieces are incredibly fresh, but we also have a sense of tradition and an [understanding of] the lifestyle that [our customer] leads. There’s a balance between fast fashion and the good, traditional values that my brand has always stood for.”
Mizrahi said his decision to partner with Hudson’s Bay Co.-owned Lord & Taylor was also rooted in a similar objective.
“There’s a sense of permanence in being associated with Lord & Taylor,” Mizrahi said. “So if we’re doing something that feels fresh and fast, placing it in Lord & Taylor gives it a kind of weight.”
As many designers facing the pressures of fast fashion and the see-now, buy-now movement will attest, a quicker fashion cycle presents numerous challenges — including unrealistic expectations. However, Mizrahi said he isn’t particularly attached to all of the tenets of fast fashion and is willing to break a few rules.
“The thing that I don’t agree with about fast fashion is sometimes it [makes consumers] feel like they have to buy something,” the designer said. “But in the case of this collection, I’d almost rather [the customer] not buy something — [instead] I [want her] to feel like [the line] resonates with her and that she needs this thing.”
He added, “My advice is always ‘buy less but buy the right thing.’”
The collection’s prices range from $49 to $279, with apparel options landing anywhere between $49 to $149 and footwear ranging from $99 (flats) to $279 (knee-high boots).
“The shoes are so good,” Mizrahi said. “For me, if you get the shoes right, you get the whole thing right. It’s a really important part of it — my shoes always do great.”