Elie Tahari’s Life Becomes a Documentary

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The life and times of Elie Tahari are coming to the big screen. The fashion designer will be the subject of a feature documentary to be released on Amazon Prime Video in March. The film is produced and directed by David Serero, an actor, director, producer and opera singer.

The film, entitled “The United States of Elie Tahari” traces Tahari’s life from his upbringing in Israel, where he lived in a refugee camp, to his arrival in New York in 1971 — unable to speak English and with less than $100 in his pocket, sleeping on benches in Central Park.

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It follows his design career from making tube tops to launching his eponymous Tahari brand in 1973, expanding into women’s shoes, sunglasses, accessories and men’s wear, while opening stores around the globe. During the Eighties, the designer’s tailored suit helped define a decade, as women entered the workforce in droves.

“I wanted to participate in this documentary to leave a legacy for my children, to inspire people and encourage them to follow their dreams,” Elie Tahari told WWD.

Among those featured in the film are Fern Mallis, Nicole Miller, Dennis Basso, Arthur S. Levine and Teri Agins. The disco scene, models and Studio 54, where Tahari held his first fashion show, are all featured.

Part of the documentary is dedicated to Tahari’s creative process and his endurance in the fashion world. The designer will be celebrating 48 years in business this year.

This is the first documentary ever produced about Tahari and was filmed during 2020. As reported, Tahari shut down his wholesale business when the pandemic hit last March. His collections are still sold online and in Elie Tahari retail stores.

To view the trailer:

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