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IM : a memoir
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2019
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Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* The bad news? Readers who recognize iconic fashion designer Mizrahi only from Project Runway: All Stars may be initially disappointed: the show's never mentioned. The good? Everything else about Mizrahi's honest, insightful, and thoroughly entertaining first memoir. Mizrahi comes off in writing just like his onscreen persona: warm, witty, humble—and ready to dish. Celebrity names are scattered throughout the book, but never just to impress. Whether Mizrahi mentions them in brief encounters or long-lasting friendships, just about everyone's shown in a positive light. Mizrahi devotes most attention to his mom, Sarah: his steadfast soul mate, inspiration, and supporter. Mizrahi chronicles the stages of his life—as an ungainly youngster growing up in his uberconservative Syrian Jewish community, a closeted student at New York's High School for the Performing Arts, a gifted newcomer maneuvering through the layers of the fashion industry, a jet-setting superstar, and then, abruptly, yesterday's news—through his current career as a performer and producer. He shares his never-ending anxieties, indecision, and bouts of depression in introspective passages, as well as the ups and downs of his personal life, including the on-again, off-again courtship of his now husband, Arnold. This is likely to get a lot of celebrity buzz; expect enthusiastic demand. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Fashion designer Mizrahi reveals the many layers of his exceptional life in this witty, intelligent memoir. Mizrahi grew up in Brooklyn in a Syrian Jewish Orthodox family, and at an early age began designing Barbie doll wardrobes; at age 11, he opened his own atelier in his parents' basement. While attending LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts, Mizrahi began selling pieces of his first fashion collection to such tony boutiques as Manhattan's Charivari. After graduating from Parsons School of Design, Mizrahi worked with noted designers Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein, and rubbed elbows with fashion luminaries including Audrey Hepburn and Vogue's Anna Wintour. In luminous prose, Mizrahi chronicles not only the glamour—Liza Minnelli's wedding (she had four dress changes that "I hoped no one mistook any of them for mine") and nights at Studio 54—but also the low points of his life, such as his father's death and his own depression ("no matter how wonderful things are going, a lot of dark thinking manages to take hold"). Loving descriptions of vintage fabric charm, as do earnest moments, such as meeting his future husband, Arnold, in 2001 ("Aside from the great physical attraction, we were very honest with each other at all times"). This is a must-read for fashion fanatics. (Feb.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Author Biography

Isaac Mizrahi (Libra) performs cabaret across the country, has written two books, hosted his own television talk show, and made countless appearances in movies and television. He has directed and designed many productions for the stage and screen. He founded his design company in 1987, was the star and cocreator of the documentary Unzipped, and was the subject of a large-scale, mid-career survey at the Jewish Museum in New York City. He currently develops projects in television, theatre, and literature through his own production company, Isaac Mizrahi Entertainment. - (McMillan Palgrave)

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A memoir by the multifaceted pop culture icon discusses his experiences as a gay youth in a Syrian Jewish Orthodox family, his education at LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts, and the making of his documentary, "Unzipped." - (Baker & Taylor)

A memoir by the multifaceted pop culture icon includes coverage of his experiences as a gay youth in a Syrian Jewish Orthodox family, his education at LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts and the making of his documentary, Unzipped. - (Baker & Taylor)

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“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.

- (McMillan Palgrave)

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