Creative Courage

Designer Gelareh Mizrahi always wanted to start a collection. She didn’t know what it would look like or what it would be, just that it would be cool, unexpected and have a sense of humor. The first thing she made was a python skateboard.
Text by Sandy Lindsey | August 28, 2018 | People

As the eldest daughter of Iranian parents, Gelareh Mizrahi found her career choices limited to doctor or lawyer. “After college, I worked at Intermix while studying for the LSAT and applying to law school,” she says. “This was a very tempestuous time for me.” Eventually, after working at Chanel, she launched her namesake collection of colorful python handbags in 2013, and recently expanded her brand to include effervescent pins and custom-made accessories. “I learned something powerful after I made the THANK YOU bodega bag and started wearing it,” she says. “THANK YOU is the most powerful prayer there is!” During Art Basel last year, Reed Van Brunshot constructed a massive 30 ft. tall handmade plastic THANK YOU bag, which now lives in Mizrahi’s Design District store, a locale that doubles as a hangout for Miami creatives. She even installed a skate ramp as a way to give back to the skater community that inspired her so much in the beginning. “It’s free for all to come and use and I love watching people skate it,” she says. “It’s like having a front-row ticket to watch people fully in their flow.”;

“After struggling and soul-searching upon graduation, I secretly applied to Parsons — it sounds trite, but finding the courage to tell my parents that I wanted to study fashion was the first step my soul took in gaining the strength to follow my path!”