Fresh off Monday’s Met Gala date with Katie Holmes, Zac Posen touched down in Toronto for the international premiere of House of Z, an intimate documentary that charts his rapid rise to fame.
At 37, Zac Posen is already a legendary fashion designer, renown for artisanal craftsmanship. Celebrities like Uma Thurman, Sarah Jessica Parker and Natalie Portman flock to his atelier for red carpet wow. House of Z is a generous peek inside Zac’s well connected, Manhattan upbringing and a family that rallies behind his early success.
As a 20-year old Central Saint Martins drop out, Zac already had enviable media buzz but no business. In 2001 Zac’s older sister Alexandra and their mother (a former corporate lawyer) join forces to help him launch his design studio out of the family’s living room. The media darling struggles to exceed the fashion industry’s high expectations while supporting his family. It’s a familiar “fake it until you make it” success story, but one that nearly backfired.
The question this film seems to ask is, what happens when the business outgrows family?
Looking at his career now – successful designer of his namesake label, creative director for Brooks Brothers Womens, judge on Project Runway – it’s hard to imagine the pressure nearly unraveled him. We’ve seen mega talents get sidelined by success before. The question this film seems to ask is, what happens when business outgrows family?
Some of movie’s best moments are interviews with the celebrity set who play a major role in Zac’s rise to fame. Naomi Campbell, Sean “P Diddy” Combs and Claire Danes are just a few of the bold face names to make a cameo.
It’s no surprise they selected Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival for House of Z’s international premiere. The documentary was written, filmed and produced by Sandy Chronopoulos, a Toronto broadcast news producer at Rogers Television. As well, fashion philanthropist Suzanne Rogers serves as an executive producer on the film.