One-time HSN vendor Arnold Scaasi, a storied fashion designer whose dresses were worn by actresses and First Ladies, died at age 85 On Tuesday.
Scaasi was born Arnold Isaacs, but he reversed the letters of his last name early in his career. He did a line of costume jewelry for HSN several years ago that was truly gorgeous, and was so inexpensive it was unbelievable.
But we blogged about him because whenever he appeared on the home shopping network he was incredibly rude to the hosts, very haughty.
We guess that’s because he had made such a name for himself designing clothes for folks such Barbra Streisand, Barbara Bush, Joan Rivers, Joan Crawford and Elizabeth Taylor.
The New York Times obit on Scaasi had an anecdote about how the designer lost Jacqueline Kennedy as a customer when he wanted her to pay wholesale for his designs for her, rather than comping her the items for the publicity he would get. Jackie turned to Oleg Casini instead.
New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams had a great story about Scaasi.
“To judge the Miss Universe pageant, I once brought him to Puerto Rico,” Adams wrote. “Tragedy struck. Fellow judge Lynn Redgrave’s luggage went lost. Scaasi grabbed the hotel housekeeper’s yellow bedsheet. Draped, wrapped, tucked, and it became a Grecian goddess gown. I added my own coral brooch, earrings, necklace and out to the cameras and half a million viewers paraded Lynn. Like a queen.”