On Monday, January 30, 2006 at the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway, costume designer William Ivey Long was among the glitterati inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame. At age 58, Long has designed 50 Broadway shows, was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, and won four Tonys for his work on: Hairspray, The Producers, Crazy For You, and the original production of Nine. He also designed the costumes for the current revival of Sweet Charity, the recent revivals of A Streetcar Named Desire, and La Cage aux Folles, The Boy from Oz, the revivals of Chicago and Cabaret, to name just a few. He also designed the more than 7000 costumes for the new film version of The Producers.
Known for his flair, humor, and limitless imagination in the world of theatrical costumes, William Ivey Long also designs couture clothes for special clients (including actress Halle Berry), designed costumes for Las Vegas based magicians Seigfried and Roy, and for rock stars, from Mick Jagger to the Pet Shop Boys.
In a recent article in the New York Times, Alex Witchel noted, “Apparel has been at the center of Long's universe since he made his first costume at age 6—an Elizabethan ruff that he sewed around his dog's neck. That was followed by a bonnet he whipped up from a pattern he traced around his hand. You would expect no less from a designer whose wit and inventiveness have consistently bolstered the standards of musical-theater glitz. In the recent Lincoln Center production of Stephen Sondheim's Frogs, for instance, Long gave the chorus girls in Hell headdresses that flamed up like cigarette lighters.”
Long’s induction into the Theater Hall of Fame places him in the galaxy of other “star” costume designers including Toni Aldredge, Cecil Beaton, and Anthony Powell. To be eligible for that honor, a theater artist must have at least five significant Broadway credits in 25 years of work. The Theatre Hall of Fame was established 1971 by Earl Blackwell, James M. Nederlander, Gerard Oestreicher and Arnold Weissberger.