A Memoir

Book - 2019
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"In I.M. , Isaac Mizrahi puts his life to paper with the same mix of spirit and wryness as the designs he popularized." -- Vanity Fair

Isaac Mizrahi is sui generis: designer, cabaret performer, talk-show host, a TV celebrity. Yet ever since he shot to fame in the late 1980s, the private Isaac Mizrahi has remained under wraps. Until now.

In I.M. , Isaac Mizrahi offers a poignant, candid, and touching look back on his life so far. Growing up gay in a sheltered Syrian Jewish Orthodox family, Isaac had unique talents that ultimately drew him into fashion and later into celebrity circles that read like a who's who of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: Richard Avedon, Audrey Hepburn, Anna Wintour, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Meryl Streep, and Oprah Winfrey, to name only a few.

In his elegant memoir, Isaac delves into his lifelong battles with weight, insomnia, and depression. He tells what it was like to be an out gay man in a homophobic age and to witness the ravaging effects of the AIDS epidemic. Brimming with intimate details and inimitable wit, Isaac's narrative reveals not just the glamour of his years, but the grit beneath the glitz. Rich with memorable stories from in and out of the spotlight, I.M. illuminates deep emotional truths.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. :, Flatiron Books,, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250074089
Branch Call Number: 746.92092 M6858M
Characteristics: 1 volume.
Alternative Title: IM, a memoir


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Jun 11, 2019

Mizrahi's memoir, up to the age of about 40, is, early on, about being different. He's born into a Syrian Orthodox Jewish family in Brooklyn. The women wear traditional drab clothes, cut their hair short, wear wigs, and if first generation immigrants, don't learn good English, The men, like his father, often end up in the garment trade; his father has made and lost one fortune, and in Isaac's childhood runs a business making children's clothing. He'd like his only son to apprentice there, and follow in his footsteps. Isaac secretly makes clothes for his sisters' Barbie dolls out of beautiful fabric scraps his fashionable mother gives him from the leftovers from the high class clothing she has made for her. While he detests attending the super-Orthodox Yeshiva school, where he's bullied for being fat, some of his mother's friends help him audition for the High School of the Performing Arts, where he comes to terms with the fact that he's gay, and even comes out to a select few friends he trusts, while keeping silent within his community, except for his sympathetic mother. He loves acting, and costume design, and even has summer jobs with important designers. By the time he graduates and goes on the Parsons School of Design for college, he's set on designing beautiful clothes for beautiful women, and even having his own studio. He's still plagued with insecurities, worried about his sexuality and continuing virginity. By the end, he's made a switch of careers into performing, having had a documentary made about him, and is working as a stand up comic in cabarets. And as soon as same sex marriage is legal in New York State, he marries a handsome man he meets on the street while walking his dog. A gossipy, name dropping look at the fashion industry, the entertainment industry, and one part of the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn.


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