Remember When Isaac Mizrahi Invited RuPaul to Perform at a Louis Vuitton Event?


When it comes to headline-making best friends, it doesn’t get much cuter than Isaac Mizrahi and RuPaul.

“FACT: @IsaacMizrahi has never left my immediate consciousness since first hearing of him in 1989,” RuPaul tweeted earlier this year. But what is the origin of this fabulous friendship?

It might not have been the beginning of their bond, but January 20, 1996 marked a pretty big moment for these best friends. At the time, Louis Vuitton was celebrating its centennial and had invited the top designers of the moment to create their own interpretation of an LV purse. That led to Vivienne Westwood creating an actual “bum bag,” that sat squarely on the behind of wearers, Sybilla whipped up a backpack with an attached umbrella (for hands-free shopping in the rain), Manolo Blahnik created a mini shoe trunk, and Azzedine Alaïa mixed leopard print with the famous monogram. Helmut Lang and Romeo Gigli were also tapped to contribute to the project.

Mizrahi, meanwhile, chose to create a clear PVC tote—which was well ahead of the current trend on all things see-through. It also proceeded a major appointment at the French brand: “I was commissioned to make a handbag for Louis Vuitton before Marc Jacobs took that job,” Mizrahi once said. It’s true; Jacobs stepped into the role just one year later.

Anyways, Mizrahi’s role for the Vuitton celebration didn’t end there. The designs and the centennial were fêted with a handful of parties around the globe, including a masked ball in New York, which was attended by the likes of Patti Smith, Harrison Ford, Matt Dillon, and, of course, Mizrahi.

In Paris, the Centennial was celebrated at Palais de Chaillot, which is located on the Place du Trocadéro, and boasts one of the grandest view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. According to a 2016 interview with Mizrahi, the designer was also asked to bring along some entertainment for that black tie evening in France. “I had to find an act. I brought RuPaul and she performed. It was fabulous,” the designer said.

Indeed, RuPaul’s performance looked like a memorable one, as she danced and sang in front of a lineup of rather buff backup dancers bedecked in teeny black briefs. RuPaul, meanwhile, was perfectly representative of the U.S., in a Wonderwoman-esque red, white, and blue bustier with matching flared leg warmers.

However, it’s the set that’s the most important part of this performance. As it appears Louis Vuitton super-sized Mizrahi’s tote bag and placed it onstage, right behind where RuPaul performed. Now that’s how you celebrate a super chic friendship.


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