Monôt’s dresses are made to be noticed. Founder Eli Mizrahi’s tip on how to wear his conceal and reveal looks? “If you believe you can pull it off, go for it.”
Like Kendall Jenner, who broke the internet wearing a Mônot dress at her best friend Lauren Perez’s wedding, he considers himself a risk-taker. Eli likens Jenner’s “naked dress” moment to a time when he wore Uniqlo sweatpants and a turtleneck to a black-tie dinner. “In fashion, there’s no right or wrong; it’s basically just a matter of opinion,” says the man at the top of the partywear game.
The Lebanon-born designer has been making a splash since his debut spring/summer 2020 collection, which Zendaya swiftly snapped up. “She never gets it wrong,” he says of the white skirt suit the actor bought for a GQ event. For Monôt’s first ad campaign, he called in the big guns, shooting Kate Moss in a desert.
Since then, Dua Lipa, Ciara, Kerry Washington, Kate Hudson, Precious Lee, Emily Ratajkowski, Jisoo, Lisa, Lizzo and Jennifer Lopez have fallen for Monôt’s seductive designs. “Monôt is for someone who has an opinion, has a voice and confidence,” says Eli, before adding that it’s not all about celebrity endorsement. “I would love to see a powerful female lawyer in a courtroom in a cut-out dress.”
Still, Mizrahi is hungry for more. “I’m enjoying the process and every single minute of it,” says the creative who lives on two hours sleep per night and jets between homes in New York, where Monôt is based, Ibiza in the summer, and Paris, where he shows his work.
Despite his glamorous lifestyle, business always comes first. “There’s so much talent these days and what it takes to become successful designer is way more than just talent,” he asserts. “When launching Monôt, I did my research about what was lacking on the retail floor.” His answer? Occasionwear that makes women feel sexy and empowered. While clean lines and cut-outs are brand signatures, it’s not all about skin flashing. Ruffles and voluminous silhouettes feature heavily, too.
The fit is everything. “When I sample my patterns, I do two sets – one in New York, one in Italy. Then we do a fitting and combine them to get the perfect fit.” The classic colour scheme also plays into Monôt’s flattering look. Eli sticks to a timeless black and white palette and introduces “one ‘pop colour’ per season”.