Luxist: How do you feel your past has shaped your designs and the way you work -- growing up in the Middle East and working as an electrician, for example?
Elie Tahari: My childhood was filled with tough times but those experiences motivated me to succeed. When I first arrived in New York City my goal was to find happiness, success and true love – I was lucky enough to find all three. All of these elements still drive me today.
L: You design such a wide range of collections. How do you make everything from a suit to a gown feel "Tahari?"
ET: I have been dressing women for close to 30 years now and I am constantly learning from the women in my life, namely [my wife] Rory, and my customers too. My collection is known for versatile pieces that are modern, sexy and exude easy sophistication. Each collection incorporates expert tailoring, intricate detailing and luxurious fabrications. This philosophy has not changed. I strive to develop items that fit the wants and needs of my customer and their wants and needs certainly change overtime, but my design philosophy does not.
L: Do you design with a certain kind of person in mind?
ET: I try to create clothes that flatter the feminine figure in a subtle and beautiful way, creating pieces that come alive when a woman wears them. I want to emphasize a woman's natural beauty as opposed to masking or hiding it. To me, the Elie Tahari woman is sophisticated, sexy and confident.
L: How did you get involved with Fashion's Night Out?
ET: Fashion's Night Out is an extraordinary way for the fashion industry and its customers to unite and celebrate their love of fashion. We are hosting an event at our boutique in Soho and Alexa Ray Joel will be doing a special performance that evening. Guests will enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while shopping the newest fall items and will receive an exclusive gift with their purchase as well. We are excited to be part of this global program and are looking forward to a fun night out!
L: What's next for Tahari? What do the upcoming collections look like?
ET: I want bring the Elie Tahari lifestyle to more customers around the globe. For the spring 2010 collection, debuting on Thursday September 10, I was inspired by exotic voyages as seen through the eyes of a 1940's traveler.
Luxist will be at the debut and we'll have lots of pictures of the new collection for you! See you all at Fashion's Night Out!