Badgley Mischka: Back to Business

Mark Badgley and James Mischka spent last September's fashion week squirreled away in their Hamptons house, fielding phone calls from prospective buyers.

Regardless of their memory capacity, guests will enter through the site's back door. "The front entrance was too fancy for us," Badgley said.

For now, Iconix is busy readying for the first national Badgley Mischka advertising campaign, which makes its debut this coming spring. Details about the in-house multimillion-dollar effort are still being sorted out, but print, outdoor and multimedia components are expected to be included. "We like outdoor. We had a billboard in Hollywood once that we loved," Mischka said.

Apparently, Hollywood starlets share that admiration. In recent months, a steady stream of celebrities and stylists have come knocking, but the designers declined to name any due to the surprise factor and competitiveness of suiting up stars for red-carpet events. But when Badgley demurred with, "Everyone is being really supportive," Iconix's public relations director, Maria Dolgetta, interjected. "They're being modest. We have had so many requests from celebrities," rolling her eyes at the thought.

Their friend Cornelia Guest is another one of their biggest supporters and is eager to see their daytime clothes. She met them at their first fashion show at the Bel Air Hotel years ago, quickly befriended them and rides horses regularly with Badgley, an accomplished equestrian. (He finished third in this year's Hamptons Classic.)

"They make really beautiful classic clothes. There aren't many people left who really do that. They are also so consistent — they never go off on a tangent. And you don't have to be a coat hanger to wear their clothes."

Even with their show a week away, the designers are low-key to the point of seeming downright calm. "We're nervous," Mischka allowed.

Whatever the task at hand, they said they relish any comic relief. "There's a lot of anxiety. But we try to have fun throughout the process, because at the end of the day, this is what we do," Badgley said.
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