This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, September 4, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Ask any woman and she will tell you getting a designer handbag at a discount is akin to a golf lover hitting a hole in one, which is why celebrity endorsements have discount retailers seeing green. My next guest is not only endorsing a new line for Target stores but is the mind behind designing it as well.
Joining me today, I’m happy to say, Isaac Mizrahi, and Target’s Vice President of Events and Marketing John Remington.
Welcome to both of you.
JOHN REMINGTON, TARGET VICE PRESIDENT OF EVENTS & MARKETING (TGT): Thank you.
ISAAC MIZRAHI, DESIGNER: Thank you.
CAVUTO: Isaac, you are like a rock star. People knew you were coming...
CAVUTO: ... and, all of a sudden, holy Toledo.
Why the Target link-up for you?
MIZRAHI: Well, you know, it’s kinds of like my reentry back into fashion. I haven’t been making clothes for a number of years, and I somehow did a lot of soul searching and decided that all those years of saying that I was making clothes for the American woman and her not really being able to afford them, you know...
CAVUTO: Well, they couldn’t afford your stuff, right?
MIZRAHI: Right. That’s what I mean.
CAVUTO: What are your dresses? What? At least $5,000.
MIZRAHI: Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, and the thing is that now this is my opportunity to actually reach out to this American woman, you know, whom I’ve been studying for so long, whom I’ve been communicating with for so long, and, you know, I have a television talk show that’s about women...
CAVUTO: On Oxygen, right?
MIZRAHI: My life is sort of centered around serving this woman -- this American woman, and, in fact, now it gives me the opportunity to really reach out to her and say you can have these stylish clothes for nothing. I mean like the things just cost so little.
CAVUTO: But, see, that’s my point, and I don’t mean to besmirch John here, but, you know, Target is an affordable kind of a price point for folks. Do you demean your cache by doing that?
MIZRAHI: Well, you know, honestly, perhaps if I was with a different chain store, but I think Target has such an incredibly sterling...
CAVUTO: I thought it was Targe.
MIZRAHI: Targe. Exactly. Tangissimo. That’s for the Armanis of the Thalia world.
But the thing is that their image, I think, is so sterling and so smart, and the advertising is so -- I look forward to it. I watch TV to see Target advertising. You know what I mean?
So I think they’ve brought this whole thing into a whole new arena, and I couldn’t have done this 10 years ago with another chain store. And, honestly, when I was making the deal with them, there was interest from other chain stores.
CAVUTO: Oh, yes, there was. You just eschewed Kmart because of the Martha Stewart thing, or was that a whole...
MIZRAHI: I’m not naming names. I’m not saying anything. I’m just saying.
CAVUTO: OK. All right.
MIZRAHI: The Target thing for me works as an image. It enhances my image is what I think.
CAVUTO: I see.
John, by the way, if you could just pipe down.
MIZRAHI: Oh, sorry.
CAVUTO: No, no, no, no, no. That’s my fault.
But let me ask you, John, you knew, obviously, you were hooking up with a guy who’s a walking brand name. I mean I hear all these stories about the legion about kids and young women, older women who come running up to him for advice.
REMINGTON: I hear our target designers, too.
CAVUTO: How much were you hoping it would gel in your stores?
REMINGTON: Well, it’s a question of gelling with the guest that walks into the stores. You know, right underneath the Target name, it says expect more, pay less, and Isaac is the perfect personification of that expect more piece of it. They can come in, and they don’t have to pay an arm and a leg. They can afford it.
CAVUTO: How much of a crowd leader would he be for you . Thalia’s at Kmart, Levi Strauss, Wal-Mart. Sears is Land’s End and all of that. How much of a crowd leader is he?
REMINGTON: Well, he’s like the icing on top of the wedding cake, you know. He’s somebody who’s going to be appealing to every American woman who wants to come in our store, and we have such a broad range of guests that come into the store that that woman’s going to find something that they’ll like that Isaac designed.
CAVUTO: Do you wonder -- and I’m not blowing smoke your way, Isaac -- but I like the line I heard about you not long too where some young kids were running up to you and -- hey, you know, give me advice...
CAVUTO: ... touch me up and all this -- I’m paraphrasing here -- and you said you don’t like the term "makeover."
MIZRAHI: No, I don’t. I don’t like it. I don’t like makeovers. You know, it’s fun to watch like a television show where they take someone and do her hair and do her makeup, and that’s fun, I guess, for an hour’s entertainment.
But then, in the end, I feel like, you know, unless a woman really, you know, changes, transcends, you know, it makes her uncomfortable. After about five minutes, she’s like, well, how do I recreate this tomorrow.
CAVUTO: So, when people run up to you and you say, no, no, no, no, I’m not, do they get ticked off?
MIZRAHI: I have a hard time saying, oh, you look horrible in that, take that off, you know...
MIZRAHI: ... put this on, you’ll look much better because it’s not true. It’s like, you know, that show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
CAVUTO: What do you think of that show?
MIZRAHI: I love it. It’s so good natured.
CAVUTO: Oh, yes?
MIZRAHI: Yes. But the thing is like, at the end, I always think the guy looks much worse than what he looked like originally, you know, and his apartment looks a lot worse. I’m sorry.
CAVUTO: You don’t like that.
Isaac Mizrahi, thank you.
MIZRAHI: No, the apartments are always -- sorry -- terrible.
CAVUTO: Thank you very much.
What do you think of this set? You’re not commenting, all right.
John Remington here. Target’s going to outfit the whole place.
Thank you, John.
Best of luck to both of you.
REMINGTON: Yes. Thank you.
MIZRAHI: Thank you.
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