Those of us that work in the industry routinely joke that Fashion Week should be declared a holiday. I guess the City of New York was thinking the same thing when it proclaimed Wednesday, September 4th, Elie Tahari Day. With an official decree from Mayor Bloomberg, the day was created to honor Tahari’s 40 years in the fashion industry.
Elie Tahari immigrated to the United States in 1971 with less than $100 in his pocket. He has said that while searching for work, he would sleep on benches in New York’s Central Park and occasionally at the YMCA. In 1973, with inspiration from New York’s club scene, Elie “gave birth” to the Tube Top.
He’s come a long way since he first arrived in Manhattan. Elie Tahari is now the heard of a wildly successful multinational brand are sold in boutiques bearing his name worldwide as well as some of the world’s top luxury retailers including Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.
In front of a crowd of selected press (which yours truly was a part of), close friends, family, industry colleagues and the Fort Hamilton High School Marching Band gathered at Elie Tahari’s Fifth Avenue pop-up shop, the fashion industry and New York City came together to fete an icon. Fashion Police host, Joan Rivers, with her usual over-the-top comedic stylings hosted the morning event reminiscing on her friendship with Tahari and the infamous tube top. Later, Rob Goldrich (an official from the Mayor’s office) read the official proclamation signed by Bloomie himself honoring the Israeli-born American designer with his very own day.
As a way of saying thank you to “the city who gave [him] everything,” Elie Tahari announced that he would be donating proceeds from the dress he created for fashion reality show Project Runway to Save the Garment Center—an organization whose programs are aimed at the preservation of the city’s garment center and fashion design and manufacturing heart.
In honor of this huge milestone, Elie Tahari will unveil a new spring collection called “Elie Tahari 1974” highlighting some of his greatest fashion “hits” over the last 40 years—from jumpsuits (a fave of mine) to power suits and everything in between.
So what are you supposed to do on Elie Tahari Day? Is it a day to barbecue, throw a parade, or wear something fancy? As the designer himself simply put it, all one has to do is “make someone happy….Enjoy the day and remember it is our collective consciousness that creates our reality and guides our path. A grateful mind is a great mind.”
This was definitely the perfect way to kickstart what is turning out to be a crazy but fun Fashion Week.