INTERVIEW: 5 Minutes With the Dashing Zac Posen

Fashion designer and Project Runway judge Zac Posen is in town this week to present his fall/winter collection at Saks’ annual Daisy Day Luncheon at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. The 58th annual see-and-be-seen fundraiser raises money for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

I was able to pop into the hotel this morning to chat with him before the show. I found him to be very kind, humble, and every bit as dashing as he is on TV. An adonis, that one. He kind of reminds me of a young, more-polished Marlon Brando. Be still my heart.

Check out our five-minute chit-chat below.

G Philly: How did you get involved with the CHOP benefit?
Zac Posen: Through Saks Fifth Avenue. They asked us to come on board this season. I have a long history with Saks Bala Cynwyd (which, editor’s note, is one of the first stores to pick up his collection when he first started.)

GP: I’m on a time restraint here, so I want to jump to some questions about Project Runway. Being on the show has thrust you into a different kind of spotlight than before. How has that impacted your career as a designer?
ZP: It affects my daily life. It’s a new responsibility. It’s an enormous amount of work. We are on TV almost every day around the world in over 200 countries. … It definitely changes and elevates your public persona. I started when I was 21, and since then I’ve always been in the limelight. After Project Runway, though, it changed that to the level, where, you know, you have paparazzi following you daily.

GP: And it introduces you to a different crowd of people.
ZP: Oh totally. It definitely introduces you to a much larger demographic. I have a very positive message about fashion, and I think that’s very important. That’s one of the reasons I went on the show.

GP: If you were stranded on an island and could only take Heidi or Nina with you, who would you choose?
ZP: I would definitely choose Heidi.

GP: I’m not surprised. You and Nina seem to have a little bit of tension going on.
ZP: No, no. Nina and I are really good friends. That’s all in editing, 100 percent. But Heidi is a survivor in the extreme level. Heidi and cockroaches would survive a nuclear blast.

GP: [laughs] We’re about to post a summer fashion spread on G Philly. Do you have any style tips for men for the upcoming season?
ZP: Linens are going to be really chic. I think plain, off-white shirts is a really nice addition to the wardrobe. Knit ties are always good. Cotton turtlenecks, or mock necks, too.

GP: Are these the kind of clothes you like to see a man in?
ZP: Absolutely. I dress in suits — I make all my own clothing every day.

GP: Wait. You get up and make a new suit every day?!
ZP: No, no, no. Every day I wear clothing that I make — from shirts down to my shoes, everything. Maybe soon I’ll have a men’s line, we’ll see.

GP: We usually see you so polished. Do you ever just bum around in a T-shirt and jeans?
ZP: Yea, when I cook at home, when I make dinner for my family and my doggies.

GP: What else will you be doing while you’re in Philly?
ZP: I’d like to get to the Barnes Collection. I’d like to see the Patrick Kelly exhibition.

GP: Seems like you’re on a tight schedule. Will you have time to do that?
ZP: No, not on this trip, but I come to Philly on my own — in hiding.

Zac Posen will make an in-store appearance this afternoon, from 3-5 p.m., at the Saks store in Bala Cynwyd. Can’t make it to the event today? Get a peek at his luscious fall/winter collection below.