Elie Tahari, the Israeli fashion designer known for the best and worst things a woman could possibly wear to a job interview—the designer suit and the tube top—visited FIT yesterday to celebrate 40 years in fashion.
He was interviewed by Patricia Mears, deputy director of The Museum at FIT, about his career. He began an impecunious immigrant in New York City, sleeping in Central Park, and slowly built his brand into a $500 million empire.
He said he learned a lot by making clothes at every price point. “It’s easy to do beautiful clothes for $10,000. It’s harder to make clothes for a lot less.”
When a student asked him how to make it in the fashion industry, he replied that the current global market gives every designer, big and small, an equal opportunity. “If you do one good thing well, you have the internet, you have India and China, you have Europe, you have everybody.”