Isaac Mizrahi was born on October 14, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York. Exposed to fashion at a very young age by his parents, Isaac had a natural interest in it that continued to grow. He attended the Yeshiva of Flatbush. Mizrahi did not fit in well at the conservative yeshiva, and was on the verge of being expelled several times. By the time he was old enough for high school, he had been accepted into New York's High School for the Performing Arts. He studied music, dance, and drama, and made his own costumes. This is where he learned how to express himself with confidence.
Soon he realized that even though he enjoyed performing, fashion was his passion. He started with evening classes at the Parsons School of Design. Soon he began attending full-time, and his designs began to attract attention.
Mizrahi's interest in fashion began at a young age. By the age of ten, his father bought him his own sewing machine, and by age thirteen, he was designing clothes for himself, his mother and her friend, Sarah Haddad. When he was fifteen, he produced his first line of clothing under the label IS New York.
In his junior year at Parsons, Mizrahi began working part-time for designer Perry Ellis. After graduation, he worked for Ellis full-time. Mizrahi worked long hours, learning as much as possible about every aspect of the business from Ellis. After two years of full-time work, he left the employ of Perry Ellis. Mizrahi worked for designers Jeffrey Banks to help lead a new womens wear collection, and then Calvin Klein. While working for Calvin Klein, he was responsible for creating one of their most interesting collections that highlighted streamlined red suits.
In 1987, he joined with Sarah Haddad-Cheney so he could open his own company. He had his first show in 1988, and by early 1990, his menswear collection premiered.
In 1989, he won the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Perry Ellis Award for new talent in fashion. In 1990, he won the CFDA Designer of the Year Award. He also earned the 1990 Fashion Footwear Association of New York Designer of the Year and he was included in Crain's New York Business directory ''40 Under 40'', praising him for his accomplishments at his age. Compared to greats like Halston, Geoffrey Beene and Norman Norell, his designs have been referred to as ''classics with a twist.''
In 1995, Douglas Keeve directed a documentary about Isaac Mizrahi called ''Unzipped.'' The film won the Audience Award at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival. Viewers came to know the real Mizrahi, and it helped boost his popularity when he launched his new collection in 1996. By 1997, he had signed a deal with three major markets in Japan, Korea and Singapore which included wholesale distribution, manufacturing and sublicenses. Nevertheless, a year later, Mizrahi closed his business due to profit losses.
Mizrahi designed the costumes for three Broadway revivals, and won the Drama Desk Award in 2002 for his costumes for ''The Women.''
In 2004, Mizrahi returned to fashion with a line designed for discount retailer, Target. For the pricier crowd, he created a new business called Isaac Mizrahi to Order. It offers custom-designed pieces through the store Bergdorf Goodman, starting at $5,000. He has recently signed on with Liz Claiborne to design a line of womens wear.
Isaac Mizrahi has made many appearances as himself throughout the 1990s and 2000s on shows like ''Spin City,'' ''Sex and the City,'' ''Oprah,'' ''The Apprentice,'' ''Good Morning, America'' and many others. Recently, he has interviewed stars on the red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards and other similar venues.
He was nominated for an Emmy Award for helping design the costumes for Liza Minnelli Live from Radio City Music Hall in 1992.
As an actor, Mizrahi has been seen in the movie ''Fame.'' He has had small roles in ''Frasier,'' ''Ugly Betty'' and ''Born in Brooklyn.'' He hosted his own talk show on the Oxygen network called ''The Isaac Mizrahi Show'' and another short-lived talk show called ''Isaac.''
Isaac Mizrahi has risen to the top of his profession and become a celebrity by developing the talent and interests that he began early in childhood. With a supportive family and good connections, his talent and hard work has won him worldwide acclaim. His flamboyant personality has helped him reach the heights of his profession, keeping him in the spotlight. His fashions are now available for the masses in Target and through Liz Claiborne, while he still designs custom pieces for the rich and famous.