Friday, February 23, 2007

William Ivey Long

One of Broadway’s most prolific costume designers with a list of credits too long to list here (click here for the complete rundown), William is a graduate of Yale School of Theatre and had his first major Broadway hit with the show Mass Appeal in 1984. Since that time his successes are so numerous that he has rarely had a day in his life where a show he’s worked on is not being performed somewhere or in several places across the world. He also commands what may be the largest royalty per show in the history of costume design.

Southern by birth, he has the natural curiosity about society and celebrity along with the natural wit and grace to appeal to the rich and famous. A school chum of Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, he participated in the planning of her wedding as well as that of her brother. He was possibly the only non-family member to accompany her mother’s coffin to Arlington National Cemetery. Until the very last days of her life, CZ Guest called him every morning to pass on or catch up on the latest.

Curly-headed, bespectacled, his face in the repose of a constant smile, he has the persona of a kid (he’s in his late fifties) and steely-eyed focus of a hardnosed tycoon when it comes to work and progress. He currently resides in a recenty completely restored 19th-century townhouse in Chelsea (where he also works), a country house in New England and several houses in his native North Carolina, all of which he is in the process of restoring to their original splendor, modest though it may have been.