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Isaac Mizrahi shows up for our interview precisely on the dot of noon. He’s come from his home in New York City, whisked the two hours to Studio Park by his driver, William. While William drives, Isaac reads. This trip it’s Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust. Isaac says, “It’s very slow going, but it’s really, really good.”
In an hour, Isaac will be on air selling a floral cardigan, among other items. But now the focus is his March 2 Today’s Special Value® 24/7 Stretch Print or Solid Ankle Pants. The big news: Prints of paisley, gingham, and polka dot. “They’re not mad-crazy prints. For me, gingham is like a solid. Sometimes prints can be as easy as solids.” (And yes, there are actual solids: black, white, and pool green.)
The tailoring of these pants, done in Isaac’s best-selling 24/7 stretch fabrication, is of the utmost importance to Isaac, who explains, “There’s no greater sign on contemporary fashion than the way the pants are cut.” And this year’s cut is changed ever-so-slightly from last year’s iteration. “It’s millimeters of an evolution. We listened to the online comments. These minute details set it apart. It’s what makes it a designer product.”
Obviously, Isaac knows good design. And as a customer of London’s famed Saville Row, he has a deep respect for well-placed stitches. For him, tailoring is personal. “I was a fat kid. I lost 75 pounds in high school and I was still chubby. I was never thin, and that makes me keenly aware of how clothes are cut. I feel like if clothes make you look thin then they’re good. If they make you look fat, they’re bad.”
Isaac also recommends looking to the QVC hosts for style inspiration. “I love working with Shawn Killinger, Sandra Bennett, Jen Coffey, and Leah Williams. Leah is one of my favorite people. When I’m not on her Saturday morning show, I’m watching it. These women are beautiful in a smart way. I feel what makes them beautiful is their vulnerability.” When Isaac told Amy Stran that she’s a style setter, she jokingly looked back behind herself, wondering if the comment was for someone else. But Isaac knows better. “I think the hosts are role models and the customer responds to them.”
Twenty minutes into our interview, a producer pokes her head in his dressing room. Isaac’s needed on a different set for his 1pm show. He’s not sure where the set is, but he’s unflappable, assuring her he’ll find it in time. It must be his star power. Did you know he moonlights as an entertainer? Isaac just wrapped his cabaret show with his band at New York City’s Café Carlyle. “I’m the singer, babe. The show is about me. And my perspective and my fluctuating weight. It’s funny.” Of his shows, Isaac says, “I don’t have kids, I don’t sleep that much. I like to work.”
But he is taking a vacation to Vienna in the spring. Already he and his partner have a long list of sites to take in. “It won’t feel like a vacation!” Isaac laughs. But while he’s abroad, he hopes you’ll be enjoying his ankle pants. “The things I bring as a Today’s Special Value represent how we set up the whole season. That’s what I think is the one thing you need. The inspiration was to bring the most modern looking pants to customers. But they’re also basic, so they won’t go out of style in a minute.”
*The Today’s Special Value offer ends at 11:59pm PT on March 2, 2018.