Business in America

Buckle up, companies are strapping in for the downturn, wild ride, and slimming down payroll. It is painful for everyone involved. Never fun. Unfortunately, many companies will be sold for way less than their highest valuation, and others will fall into an abyss, never to return. Riding this tumultuous storm is never easy, even if you have been through it before.

One of my daily reads, Morning Brew, posted this epic history of Isaac Mizrahi’s company. The trajectory, the downturn, the revival, and everything in between.

  • In 1987, Isaac Mizrahi founded his New York-based label and debuted his first collection at a trunk show at Bergdorf Goodman, earning instant praise. In 1992, Chanel acquired a majority stake in the brand.
  • On January 9, 1989, the CFDA awarded the designer his first of two Womenswear Designer of the Year awards.
  • On August 11, 1995, director Douglas Keeve’s documentary, Unzipped, was released. It followed Mizrahi through the arduous process of creating and showing his 1994 collection.
  • On October 2, 1998, after years of faltering sales, Chanel and Mizrahi agreed to formally shut down the label.
  • On February 25, 2003, nearly five years after the closure of his eponymous label, Target announced a diffusion line with Mizrahi. It debuted in August of that year, and would go on to be an enormous success. The line was discontinued in 2008.
  • In September 2011, Mizrahi’s label was acquired by Xcel Brands for $31.5 million.
  • On January 5, 2012, the first season of Project Runway spin-off Project Runway: All Stars debuted, with Isaac Mizrahi, among others, as a recurring judge.
  • On March 17, 2016, the Jewish Museum unveiled a retrospective of Mizrahi’s work titled Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, because, what better way to sum up the designer’s colorful career?
  • And finally, on May 31, 2022, Xcel Brands sold a 70% stake in the Isaac Mizrahi brand to WHP Global for $46.2 million in cold, hard cash.

This is business in America.