Izabelle New comes by her creativity naturally. The daughter of artistic parents, Izzy describes her childhood self as “happy but disillusioned. I was a perpetual seeker of something other than the conventional path. I learned early on how to make something from nothing.”
After graduating from Palisades Charter High School, Izzy moved to New York City to study at the Pratt Institute. “There, I discovered the joy of working collaboratively rather than competitively. I found collaboration to be a medium in itself, and it became a spiritual principle to me. I met two sorts of artists: those who got high and waited for inspiration, and those who practiced their craft in a sustained way to improve. I found collaborators in the latter category,” Izzy says.
Once Izzy left Pratt, she faced a new set of pressures: making rent, going to openings to stay recognizable, managing her social media presence and her studio practice. Explains Izzy: “Working within this space made drugs desirable. Combined with my brother’s despair and mental issues – and he was my best friend – drugs became my remedy.”
Izzy developed her style early, and honed it on the streets of New York City. She characterizes it as fiercely weird but modest and elegant. “I like to stand out but feel comfortable as well,” she explains. “I like clothes – on me and others – to be pleasing without relying on skin to get noticed.”
Izzy is the stylist and project coordinator for Beit T’Shuvah’s Haute Couture High Tea & Fall Fashion Show, taking place at BTS November 11 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Over 50 people – both community members and residents – are involved, as models, doing hair and makeup, handling lights and sound and more. “It is great to get people together; the energy is increased exponentially,” Izzy says. “We spend a lot of time at Beit T’Shuvah trudging into recovery and revisiting trauma. But part of changing lives – BTS’s business – is raising self-esteem, helping people live elevated lives. And looking good is a component of feeling good.”
Izzy continues,“Beit T’Shuvah has given me renewed hope. I look at helping with the fashion show as an honor and a way to give back and express my deep gratitude to Beit T’Shuvah.”