The Zac Attack

Award-winning fashion designer Zac Posen combines excellent craftsmanship with remarkable innovation to create modern American glamour.


By Linda Marx


Interest in fashion came early for Zachary E. “Zac” Posen, the New York-born son of an artist and a lawyer. As a child, Posen would steal yarmulkes from his grandparents’ synagogue to make ball gowns for dolls. In high school, he was a math geek, yet interned with fashion designer Nicole Miller. By age 16, the creative boy was ready to pursue his passion for fashion and enrolled in a pre-college program at Parsons The New School for Design.

Zac Posen, now 35, was mentored by the late Richard Martin, curator at The Costume Institute – Metropolitan Museum of Art, which gave him a solid and erudite foundation. At 18, he enrolled in London’s world-famous Central Saint Martins – University of the Arts London College of Art and Design

Once exposed to such artistic brilliance, he was fast becoming a missile ready to be launched. And in 2001, he did just that, introducing his first eponymous collection which showcased his razor-sharp, precision-perfect vision for American glamour, with an emphasis on femininity and romance.

This runway show was a huge success. He got noticed around the world by big names in the business and later won awards, most notably the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CDFA) 2004 Swarovski Perry Ellis Award for Womenswear.

By then, he had already opened a studio in Tribeca and was continuing to design with a strong feminine aesthetic for luminaries such as Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Claire Danes, Jennifer Lopez, and later for First Lady Michelle Obama.

Today, he is dancing as fast as he can with regular appearances as a judge on TV’s popular Lifetime Network show “Project Runway” which received four Emmy nominations this year. He is also creating brand extensions including accessories, handbags, hosiery and jewelry, and arranging amazing new collaborations with a variety of companies.

“I’ve been in this business for 14 years and I still get excited,” Posen told Daily Front Row recently. “I’m still passionate, and I feel fortunate to do what I love.”

Currently, the busy designer is working his magic with glam designs for Delta Airlines uniforms which he will unveil in 2018. He is also designing for American Express, David’s Bridal and Brooks Brothers, available at the Brooks Brothers store in the Aventura Mall.

Posen describes his work designing a full line of women’s sportswear for Brooks Brothers as an “incredible experience.” He is using high-quality fabric and selling the line at a fair price point, hoping that this new collection, which has a whole new generation of young women to flatter, will be very successful.

His Zac Posen ready-to-wear and couture creations, available in 22 countries around the world, are still at the top of many “must-have” lists with celebrities and other fashion-conscious women who like his mix of architecture with sensuality and luxuriousness.

Award-winning fashion designer Zac Posen combines excellent craftsmanship with remarkable innovation to create modern American glamour.

Award-winning fashion designer Zac Posen combines excellent craftsmanship with remarkable innovation to create modern American glamour.

I feel fortunate to do what I love.

In addition, his Zac Zac Posen line is red hot with retailers. For more sizzle, he has partnered with Google and Made With Code to create a black dress for this line. The dress was coded by girls via the Google Made With Code site so it shows a pattern created by moving LED lights.

With so much activity, invention and round-the-clock buzz, the workaholic designer has had to learn how to compartmentalize his life. He told online fashion magazine Daily Front Row that he can now keep stress and hysteria out of his professional life.

“When that type of anxiety starts to appear, you’ve got to focus it into something positive for somebody else,” he said. “You have to be passionate, involved and a perfectionist. But the key to success is about enjoying the process. I learned that from Madonna.”

It’s a good thing the designer, who is also a foodie, has learned some Zen and knows how to relax. He has brought his design genius to the Pinot Grigio from Italian winery Eco Domani. Since he is a hands-on designer, working with wine is a good thing.

In coming months, Posen’s name will only get bigger and his designs better because his work ethic is flawless, and this passion for getting a job well done invariably leads to success.