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Elie Tahari: No One Screws with Me (But Anna)

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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DRESSED DOWN Tahari

Even for a fashion mogul who's as rich as Croesus, having a confab with Vogue editrix Anna Wintour is a big deal. Or so says designer Elie Tahari, a former mechanic in the Israeli air force whose first digs in New York consisted of a Central Park bench and who now rakes in a cool $500 million in sales annually.

Tahari sat down with Lloyd Grove to discuss getting into Wintour's pages (and affections) after three decades in the business.

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Though he had previously lashed out at fashion's queen bee for neglecting him—"I guess I'm not important enough," he told the New York Times—after a breakfast meeting earlier this fall, Tahari was feeling much more fond of Her Iciness, hedging, "I think she's an amazing lady. And this is not buttering up or anything. I mean, I can see it's a very difficult position to be her and just to be able to juggle it and have a normal life. It's a challenge we accept."

We have to say we prefer Tahari when he is less diplomatic—the garmento who faces each day with the mantra "I get out of bed, and I look around and say, 'Don't you fuck with me today.'" Us too, Elie, us too.

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