Zac Posen - The Rebound of a Fashion Career in "House of Z"

September 7, 2017 - Zac Posen 09/07/2017 Views: 6,496

Designer Zac Posen reflects on the ups and downs he faced throughout his career in the documentary "House of Z" and talks about how cooking has influenced his fashion. (8:02)

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Please welcome Zac Posen.

-♪ -(cheering and applause)

-Welcome to it.-Thank you.

-Thank you for having me.-Welcome to the sh...

-What do you mean? It'sa pleasure. -I'm a huge fan.

Thank you so much.Thank you so... I think everyone

in New York and around the worldis a fan of your work.

-New York-born and bred fashiondesigner. -I'm... That's right.

One of the most iconic namesin the city and in the world.

Thank you for being on the show.Especially during Fashion Week.

Do you have the time for thisright now?

It has been a crazy schedule.

-Yeah? -I mean,I just got off a red carpet

with the editor in chief andcreative director of Condé Nast

and the editor in chiefof Vogue Anna,

-came right here at Heidi Klum'sfashion show. -Oh, wow.

You left... you leftAnna Wintour to come to me?

-No, she left, and then I came.-Oh, okay. 'Cause I was like,

"That's-that's a gangster move,and it is over for you,

-my friend."-But the film is on Condé Nast,

-and it's on, right. Right.

So-so today was that day,and tomorrow's Project Runway.

-That's exciting.-The-the finale show.

Do you enjoy being a judge,like, uh, in-in that world?

Is that, like, a... is that,like, a stressful situation

for you? Because you realize,at every moment, you are dashing

-people's hopes and dreams?-Of course!

-Abso... I mean, it's crushing.-Right.

You're holding it there.You know, you try to give,

uh, constructive criticism.

-It's not always well-received.-Right.

Sometimes you geta lot of 'tude back.

It can be touchy.

-You, um...-But it's a great show.

-We love filming it.It's my summer camp. -You...

-Is that your summer camp?-Uh-huh.

It's an interesting summer camp.A well-paying summer camp.

You, um.... you-you have a story

that a lot of peopleare not familiar with.

A lot of people know Zac Posenthe fashion designer.

A lot of people know Zac Posenthe successful fashion designer.

But this story, this filmtakes us on a different journey

in your life, a periodthat was really scary for you

because it felt like it was"the fall" of Zac Posen.

When you were making this film,when this film was being made

-about you-- becauseyou didn't make it-- -Sure. No.

were you afraidof how that would look?

Yes. Uh, terrifying.

It was vulnerable. It was, uh...

You know,I've had a crazy journey.

-I-I entered fashion very young,-Right.

uh, very naive, a lot of dreams,ambition, drive.

Got, you know, embracedby the community.

You know,and like the American cycle,

they love to celebrateand then get out the rifles.

-And then they bring you down.-And they sniper down.

-That-That's kind ofthe celebrity culture. -Right.

Uh, and I took risksalong the way.

-I left New York. I wentto show in Paris, -Uh-huh.

which is very of-the-momentin fashion right now.

And, uh, you know,I had my company.

You know,it could have been closed.

-Everythingcould have been done. -Right.

And it was alsothe 2008 financial recession.

And, you know,I made a real switch,

and the switch was...

You know, a lot of peoplein fashion are there

-to facilitate a way of life,a lifestyle, -Mm-hmm.

and I realized that my studio,

my community, and my workwas my lifestyle.

And that wasa hugely transformative,

important moment. This wasgonna be, night and day,

what I was gonna live forand work for.

That's-that's an interestingchoice that you made,

especially consideringthe field that you're in,

because a lot of people--I mean, myself included--

you know, sometimes see fashionas a detached world.

You go, like, "Oh, fashion,they're doing their own thing.

-They're living in their ownworld." But... -Some are.

But in-in many ways,fashion is responsible

for the way, uh,"non-fashionistas"

live their lives.I mean, body image,

the idea of what's beautiful,what should be worn,

who can be wearing it,who shouldn't be wearing it.

You were credited-- and manypeople have agreed on this--

as being oneof the first big designers

who included people of colorin your shows,

who included peopleof different body sizes,

who included peopleof different ages.

That's a risk.Why take that risk?

Why not go,"I know what a model looks like.

I'm not gonna tryto change this"?

Because diversity is beauty.

(cheering and applause)

-Uh, our differencesare what make us unique. -Right.

We have to celebrate each othermore than ever.

I mean, I am out thereon television, in a film,

-putting this message out there.-Right.

This is so important froma designer fashion perspective

-to say that everybodyis beautiful. -Right.

I mean, clothing and fashion

should beabout giving confidence,

empowering, empowering women.

Uh, clothing can betransformative to elevate you

to have experiences thatyou never knew you could have.

I really believe that.

When you're designing for people

of different body typesand different ages,

and you see the differencethat it makes out there,

how do you think people couldget other fashion designers

to do the same thing?

Because you hear fashiondesigners all the time say--

-you know, maybe they're fromEurope or whatever. -Mm-hmm.

But they go like... they golike, "No, I'm sorry. That...

"The clothes look better ona super thin, super tall person,

and that's as simple...that's how it's gonna be."

How do you begin that dialogue?How do you get people involved?

By being a success.


-As simple as that.-That's... Trying.

You know, I think...

You know, the-the workI was doing on the red carpet

and the dressingI was doing was just challenging

-to the fashion community.-Right.

-I wasn't playing,uh, a formula. -Right.

'Cause there is no real formulain fashion,

but especially now than ever,it's time to break it.

It's time to break the imageto... to celebrate each other.

-It's essential. -Do you feelthat that is happening?

If you're saying it's time,is that happening?

Like, even in Fashion Week now,have you seen a change?

Well, Project Runway this season,

we have, you know, a diversebody type models on our runway.

-Uh-huh. -And that, you know,to me, transcends anything

-that goes down the runwayin Fashion Week. -Right.

It's a much larger audience,and these girls are rocking it.

I mean, they're hot,they got the bodies,

and they look amazing.

And it's been, like,the best summer 'cause these...

-They're, like, breakout runwaymodel stars. -That's amazing.

You know, and they're curvaceousand voluptuous and delicious.

-(laughter, applause)-I like those three together--

curvaceous, voluptuousand delicious.

Speaking of... speaking ofdelicious, you... you have...

-(laughter)-No, you have a cookbook.

And I was like,"That can't be real."

-You have a cookbook.-Mm-hmm.

'Cause I've seenon your Instagram.

Like, you'll, like,put pictures out,

and it'll be like, "Cooking withZac," or "Zac food," and I'm...

-Yeah, #cookingwithZac.-Yeah. Hashtag...

And I was like,"Is this, like, a joke?"

And they're like, "No."You genuinely have a cookbook.

-Yes, fashion people eat.-(laughter)

You... Touché.You have a cookbook coming out.

-I do.-And...

That's my fashion detox...

Are you, like, really good?

I love... Yeah, I bake, I cook,

I do, you know,rustic Japanese food, Italian.

-I make all my pasta.-What's the best dish?

Like, what is the dishthat you would cook

to trap somebodyinto a relationship?

-(laughter) -Oh, that's good.A good question.

-Uh, well, baking is...You know, desserts. -Right.

Chocolate. I havea hot chocolate Bundt cake

that is really decadentand rich.


-I have a...-(laughter)

...bûche de Noëlif you happen to be gluten-free.

That's a Yule log.

You had me at "chocolate," man.

With meringue mushrooms.

-You had me at "chocolate."-Chocolate.

And now, I'm not going anywhere.

You had me at "chocolate."

-It's really funny.-That's what I love...

You know, that's what I loveto do when I go home.

And it's a real pleasure,

-and it took two years puttingtogether this book... -Right.

...testing the recipes,making the imagery.

Does your cooking ever inspireyour fashion?

Does your fashionever inspire your cooking?

-Absolutely.-In what way?

Uh, techniquesof how I cut clothing.

I can, like, cut reallybeautiful pasta sheets.

-(laughter)-Twist it, drape it.

That's... Now I'm picturing youwith pasta and a sewing machine.

-Just like... (imitatessewing machine whirring) -No.

-I have the cutting wheelon there. -(laughter)

-That's really exciting.-Uh, and vice versa.

-It's-it's... You know, it's allabout the senses. -Right.

You know, feeling, touching,and they all go together.

-It's all symbiotic.-I love this.

-Yeah.-This is exciting.

-Thank you so much for beingon the show, man. -Thank you.

-This has been amazing. -Thankyou. -(applause and cheering)

House of Z is currentlyavailable to rent on

And his book, Cooking with Zac comes out October 10.

Zac Posen, everybody!

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