Your Opinion: Isaac Mizrahi & Project Runway

In Marie Claire’s April 2012 Edition, the editor-in-chief, Joanna Coles, made mention of a comment that bothered her by the one and only Isaac Mizrahi. In fact, she admits if she didn’t love him, she might have “slugged him” for this comment.

During an episode of Project Runway’s All Stars After Show, “he hinted that women designers had less impact than men [designers] because they,[the women,] tend to design only what they want to wear.” He questioned whether it’s better or worse to have a female designing fashion. Women worry more than men about what they want to wear, whereas men just imagine their designs.

I do agree that male designers tend to make a greater impact with accessories, but, when it comes to clothing, I have to disagree and say the females make a bigger impact. If women were to design for what they want to wear, it makes sense to me. Women will be the ones buying it; therefore, they should make a bigger impact. Women know what other women want to wear. They’ve worn skirts and know how amazing it is to have pockets, or have worn annoying jeans that have just a bit too much material in the front. They know what we gripe about because they’ve dealt with it firsthand.

With accessories, yes, men might make a bigger impact than women. For example, the big names in shoes do tend to be male designers: Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Alexander McQueen, Prada, etc. In purses, again males: Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Hermes, etc. They certainly know how to design and shoe or purse that we’ll pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for.

However, when it comes to clothing, it’s another story. Coco Chanel inspired a whole generation to create new looks for women, Diane von Furstenberg created the wrap-dress, in addition there’s the one and only Vera Wang and her bridal gowns. How can those not be called impacts? Not to mention the wedding dress of our generation designed by Sarah Burton under Alexander McQueen’s empire. That dress made an unbelievable impact. There’s beyond these three women too, but if he’s simply talking about impact, these three women changed our wardrobes.


Maybe he was talking about impact as like a “wow” factor for an outfit, but as far as impact on fashion and trends, I gotta say, I don’t know about this comment.

Or, maybe, he’s talking about the fact that some women wear clothes for men, not for other women so the less comfortable, more sexy attire may be designed by men.

I really wished I would have seen this whole discussion so I knew the whole context, but to simply hint that women designers have less of an impact than male designers because they design for themselves just baffles me. We owe a lot to certain female designers for breaking barriers. We’d all be wearing dresses and skirts 24/7 if it weren’t for them.

I did find the clip online so you can see the interaction: . It obviously cuts off before he finishes explaining himself, so maybe Joanna Coles took his comment too far, but something obviously must have irked her enough to put it in the magazine that she wanted to slug him for it.

What do you make of this comment? Do you agree with him or was it just taken the wrong way?


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