100 Creatives: Cori Mizrahi, the Costumer Outfitting Miami's A-List

In honor of our "People" issue, which will hit newsstands November 17, New Times proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes. Have suggestions for future profiles? Let us know in the comments.

#94: Cori Mizrahi

Those who know Miami-based costumer Cori Mizrahi won’t be surprised to learn she landed her first gig out of college while perusing the racks on Lincoln Road. The extroverted Tulane graduate was trading style tips with a fellow shopper when the gentleman offered her a job as his assistant. Mizrahi just so happened to be chatting with Jared B. Leese, an Emmy Award-winning costume designer who would become her boss and mentor. From him, she learned everything that goes into outfitting an entire cast for a film or TV production. She says that her greatest challenge is working under tight time constraints but that the satisfaction of seeing the characters brought to life with the help of a wardrobe makes it worthwhile. Period pieces are especially fun for Mizrahi, she says, because the costumes set the tone for the entire production.

Now 27, Mizrahi is flying solo and has added editorial stylist and personal shopper to her resumé. Because of the nature of her work, there’s no typical day for the Miami-born fashionista. One day she might be creating inspiration boards and consulting with a wardrobe team on-set, and the following day she’ll be helping a client get dressed for a charity function.

Mizrahi’s energy is contagious, and she possesses an ineffable ability to make friends wherever she is. As for her personal sartorial taste? The Bal Harbour resident leans toward clothing and accessories that are loud yet still classy.

List five things that inspire you. 
  • The elegant people-watching at the Bal Harbour Shops and the emerging street style of Wynwood. 
  • The vibrant art deco hotel decor of Miami Beach. I like to create characters and dress them according to the ambiance of a room; a room can set the tone for the type of outfit a person will want to wear. 
  • Accent pieces like Delpozo’s spring/summer 2017 earrings or a Les Petits Joueurs beaded handbag. It’s amazing how an accent can transform a look. 
  • Tourists bringing their culture to Miami. I love being able to put a local twist on their imported style. 
  • The '90s TV show The Nanny. Fran Drescher wore the funkiest and loudest clothing. I’m pretty sure that show is the reason why I like bold prints and color.
What was your last big project?
My last big project was working as a costumer on the movie Baywatch. It was an incredible project to be a part of. I was such a fan of the original TV show that it was a great opportunity to be able to have an impact on the look of the show for a new generation. The costume design (and acting) will not disappoint.

What is your next big project?
My next big project is working with recording artist Cris Cab. He’s an amazingly talented musician from Miami and has a new single that’s sure to be on everybody’s party play list. He is James Dean meets Bob Marley — perfect for Miami.

What do you want Miami to know about you? 
I want people to know that I love playing dressup, and I get to do that every day, whether it’s costuming on movies, styling celebrities, or personal shopping for Miami socialites. Seeing my clients feel good and sexy in the ensembles I have styled them in is the greatest satisfaction I can receive.

What don’t you want Miami to know about you?
I don’t want people to know that I broke into the industry shopping on Lincoln Road.

What’s one thing you want people to know about Miami?
Miami’s style is more than flip-flops and bikinis. The style in Miami is just as loud and hot as the people. It’s encouraged to stand out in this city. My first fashion memory is of a woman wearing a mink fur coat and shorts at the Fountainebleau and of a man wearing a Burmese python snake as a necklace on Ocean Drive. The fashion of Miami doesn’t get any better or [more] creative.
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Valeria Nekhim was born in the Ukraine and raised in Montreal. She has lived in Manhattan and Miami. Her favorite part of food writing is learning the stories of chefs and restaurateurs.