William Ivey Long has deep theatrical roots. His parents were theatre educators. His family spent childhood summers in Manteo working on Paul Greens outdoor drama. The Lost Colony. He still returns to Manteo where he serves as production designer.
William made his first costume at age 5, which was an Elizabethan ruff for his dog.
He graduated in 1975 moved to New York where he worked for Charles James as an unpaid apprentice until Charles died. A friend of Williams from Yale a set designer for Broadway revival of (Nikolai Gogol’s The Inspector General) suggested that long be hired for costume designs for the show. This would be Longs first Broadway production.
The Broadway production of Looped Mark will make Williams 59th Broadway costume design. Currently he has Chicago running on Broadway now in its 14th year.
Long has eleven tony awards nomination for his work and has won five times. He has received the North Carolina Awards for fine Arts. And he was in ducted in to the theatre hall fame in 2005.
In 2000 Long was chosen by the National Theatre Conference as its (person of the year) and was honored with “legend of Fashion.
Long creations have had a tendency to become much of a celebrity as the people who wear them. His pieces are so lively that they seem to have a personality of their own.
Some of the broadways Long has costumed for are The Boy fro OZ, Hairspray, The Producers, Smokey Jo’s Café, Guys and Dolls, Six Degrees of Separation and Grey Gardens.