Zachary E. "Zac" Posen (/zÃ¦k ËpoÊzÉn/; born October 24, 1980) is an American fashion designer.
Posen was born in New York City, and raised in the SoHo neighborhood of lower Manhattan. He is the son of Susan (nÃ©e Orzack), a corporate lawyer, and Stephen Posen, an artist. His interest in fashion design started early, and as a child he would steal yarmulkes from his grandparents' synagogue to make ball dresses for dolls. He attended Saint Ann's School, a private school in Brooklyn, and in his sophomore year interned with fashion designer Nicole Miller. At age 16 he enrolled in the pre-college program at Parsons The New School for Design. He graduated from Saint Ann's in 1999. For three years, Posen was mentored by curator Richard Martin at The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. At 18, he was accepted into the womenswear degree program at London's Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design at the University of the Arts London. In 2001, Posen constructed a gown entirely made from thin leather strips and dressmaker hooks and eyes that was displayed by the Victoria and Albert Museum and featured in their "Curvaceous" exhibition.
In 2000, Posen received a big break after a dress he made for Naomi Campbell changed hands several times among several fashion insiders, including actress Paz de la Huerta. He is famously well-connected and has called Stella Schnabel his muse. Through Interview magazine Editor-in-Chief Ingrid Sischy, Posen met his future publicist and event producer Ed Filipowski of KCD, who offered to represent him for free.
Upon returning to New York in 2001, Posen set up an atelier in his parents' living room, while they gave him a USD$15 allowance. In October of the same year, he was chosen to present a capsule collection as part of GenArt's Fresh Faces in Fashion New York 2001. He received a grant for USD$20,000. After his first runway show in 2001, Posen was courted by fashion titans Yves Carcelle (President of LVMH Fashion Group), Sidney Toledano (Chief Executive Officer and Director of Christian Dior S.A.), and Domenico De Sole (President and Chief Executive Officer of Gucci Group NV.) Following the success of this presentation, Posen established his design studio in Tribeca. Zac Posen continues to receive awards and accolades, most notably the Council of Fashion Designers of America's 2004 Swarovski's Perry Ellis Award for Womenswear. Posen's strong, feminine aesthetic has become a favorite of style leaders including Natalie Portman, Rihanna, Amanda Seyfried, Kate Winslet, Claire Danes, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Mischa Barton, BeyoncÃ© Knowles and many more.
In 2004, high-end urban fashion brand Sean John made an investment deal with Posen. Ashley Olsen interned with Posen in 2005 while a student at The Gallatin School of Individualized Study, an undergraduate college within New York University.
In April 2008, Posen's capsule collection created in collaboration with Target, Zac Posen for Target, was released in 75 stores in Australia. A preview of the collection was shown during March's L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival as one of the fashion week's headline catwalks.
At the 2012 Academy Awards, Glenn Close wore a Zac Posen gown on the red carpet, as did both Reese Witherspoon and Naomi Watts at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards. Other notables who have worn Posen creations on red carpets include Uma Thurman (2013 Met Ball), Sofia Vergara (2014 Golden Globes), Anna Chlumsky (2014 Emmy Awards) and Rita Ora (2014 AMA Awards).
On December 18, 2012, Posen was announced as official judge of Project Runway Season 11 which started on January 24, 2013 on Lifetime Television.
In February 2014, Posen partnered with another major retailer, David's Bridal, to create Truly Zac Posen, a line of affordable bridal gowns. The line was Posen's first official bridal collection. Also in 2014, he was named Creative Director for Brooks Brothers, tapped to modernize their signature women's clothing and accessories line. In 2014, he introduced a more casual Pre-Fall 2015 Trunk Show collection.
Posen lives in the New York neighborhood of SoHo with his boyfriend Christopher Niquet and their three dogs. Posen is of Jewish descent, with immigrant ancestors from Russia, Poland, and Romania.
- Official website
- Zac Posen at FameGame.com
- "For Zac Posen, A Refuge From the Runway", a 2005 article from The New York Times (Requires registration)
- "Zac Posen: for Target and on target", a 2008 interview from Fashionising.com about Posen's line for Target and his opinions of fashion
- Zac Posen bio, at FashionVue.com
- "Zac to the Future", 2002 interview in Lucire magazine
- Ma Vendeuse, a short film produced by Zac Posen and directed by Lola Schnabel
- Showbuzz biography
- The Trials of a Former Boy Wonder
- Designer Zac Posen marks 10 years with a sharp new collection, Boston Globe