Elie Tahari Seems Nice!

Elie Tahari
Photo: Getty Images

Lloyd Grove has an interview up on Portfolio's Website with formerly homeless designer Elie Tahari. The whole thing is approximately a bajillion words long, mostly because there are exchanges in it like this:


L.G.: Do you still remember what it was like sleeping on a park bench?

E.T.: Yes.

L.G.: What was that like? Do you remember how that felt?
E.T.: Um, I have slept on floors and outdoors and in the fields, whatever. When I arrived in New York — it was 1971 — it was a couple of weeks in Central Park. I was a 20-year-old, and I didn’t even know that Central Park was not safe at night. Now, it’s safe. In those days, it wasn’t safe.

L.G.: But do you remember the physical sensation of what that felt like, to sleep on a park bench? Do you have some muscle memory of that?
E.T.: Um, it was stiff. [Laughs]

Um, yeah. You can't be expected to get through pages and pages of that, so we'll sum it up for you: Elie Tahari was homeless and then he became a fashion designer and founded and sold Theory and, well, that didn't go so great — he's suing his former partner/friend. But it's not like that was the end of the world! His company makes $500 million a year, and Elie, 55, and his 35-year-old wife and partner Rory live in a "$25 million, 9,300-square-foot Prince Street triplex loft designed by Christian Liaigre, complete with a 2,700-square-foot roof deck, a gym, a sunroom, and a screening room," that was formerly inhabited by another May-December couple, Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng. Still, it took Anna Wintour 30 entire years to invite him up to Vogue for a meeting. Which sucks, but not, you know, as much as sleeping on a park bench.

The World According to: Elie Tahari [Portfolio]

UPDATE: A reader just sent us this link to a slideshow of Tahari's insanely envy-inducing apartment. Warning: Viewing may make your apartment feel like a park bench.