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B Michael

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Information about B Michael

Profile image of B Michael

Profession

Category:
StyleMakers
Occupation(s):
Fashion Designer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Navy Blue
Favorite Food:
Oxtail
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Giverny, France
Favorite Quote:
God's Will For Me Is My Will For Me.

Birthplace

Born:
3/31/1957

Profession

Category:
StyleMakers
Occupation(s):
Fashion Designer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Navy Blue
Favorite Food:
Oxtail
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Giverny, France
Favorite Quote:
God's Will For Me Is My Will For Me.

Birthplace

Born:
3/31/1957
See how B Michael is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Fashion designer B Michael was born in 1957 and raised in Durham, Connecticut. His mother was a real estate agent and his father, a certified public accountant. B Michael found early design inspirations in his mother’s creativity and keen sense of style. He attended the University of Connecticut and also studied at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology.

B Michael was first hired as an account executive for a Wall Street firm, but decided to pursue a career as a millinery designer. He started designing hats under Oscar de la Renta, Louis Feraud, and Nolan Miller for the 1980s television soap opera Dynasty. Following his success on the show, B Michael became creative director for the Aldo Hat Corporation. In 1989, he decided to launch his namesake millinery line and in 1999 developed and launched his first couture collection with the help of PR Guru Eleanor Lambert.

B Michael’s collections have garnered appreciative fans including socialites and personalities such as Cicely Tyson, Ashley Bouder, Amy Fine Collins, Tamara Tunie, Beyoncé, Nancy Wilson, Susan Fales-Hill, President Barack Obama's poet laureate Elizabeth Alexander, and Lena Horne, among many others. He also designed Whitney Houston’s costumes for the motion picture, Sparkle. He has shown his b michael AMERICA Couture collection in Beijing, China, Korea and Shanghai, and his ready to wear fashion line b michael AMERICA RED sells in Macy’s department stores across the United States.

In 1998, B Michael was granted membership in the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). He has served as a guest lecturer at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. He also serves on the advisory boards of Dream Yard Project, YAGP (Youth America Grand Prix) and the Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts. In addition to his work and community activism, B Michael is an avid collector of vintage books, artifacts and photography.

B Michael lives in New York City with his life partner Mark-Anthony Edwards and their two daughters, Saferra and Mychal.

B Michael was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 8, 2014.

See how B Michael is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of B Michael's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - B Michael lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - B Michael talks about his roots in Connecticut
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - B Michael describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - B Michael describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - B Michael talks about his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - B Michael talks about his early awareness of race
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - B Michael describes his early interests
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - B Michael talks about his early education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - B Michael remembers his communities in West Haven, Connecticut and Durham, Connecticut
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - B Michael talks about his maternal family's Cape Verdean ancestry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - B Michael remembers his early influences
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - B Michael recalls watching 'I Love Lucy'
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - B Michael recalls his awareness of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - B Michael remembers his paternal grandmother's influence
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - B Michael talks about the development of his fashion taste
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - B Michael recalls his extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - B Michael remembers enrolling at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - B Michael remembers the mentorship of Ann Albrizio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - B Michael recalls studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - B Michael remembers becoming the milliner for 'Dynasty'
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - B Michael describes his contract with 'Dynasty'
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - B Michael recalls being featured in the millinery issue of Ebony
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - B Michael describes his professional growth during the 1980s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - B Michael remembers joining the Canadian Hat Company
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - B Michael recalls the launch of the B Michael millinery line
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - B Michael talks about his decision to start his own company
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - B Michael talks about the Aldo Hat Corporation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - B Michael recalls the start of b michael AMERICA
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - B Michael talks about his relationship with Oscar de la Renta
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - B Michael talks about the Council of Fashion Designers of America, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - B Michael talks about the Council of Fashion Designers of America, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - B Michael talks about the designers launched by Eleanor Lambert
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - B Michael remembers meeting Elsa Klensch
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - B Michael describes his support from Eleanor Lambert
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - B Michael remembers preparing for his first New York Fashion Week show
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - B Michael talks about his creative process
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - B Michael talks about his first apparel collections
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - B Michael remembers the reviews of his first New York Fashion Week show
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - B Michael reflects upon the relationship between designers and muses, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - B Michael talks about his relationship with Cicely Tyson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - B Michael reflects upon the relationship between designers and muses, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - B Michael describes his clientele
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - B Michael talks about the decline of couture in the early 2000s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - B Michael remembers creating a bridge collection for Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - B Michael talks about his challenges during the early 2000s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - B Michael talks about the process of building a fashion brand
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - B Michael describes the financial challenges faced by African American designers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - B Michael talks about his influences and aspirations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - B Michael recalls the start of his relationship with Mark-Anthony Edwards
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - B Michael describes his business plan with Mark-Anthony Edwards
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - B Michael describes his company's relationship with Mercedes-Benz
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - B Michael talks about his retail agreement with Macy's, Inc.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - B Michael talks about his relationship with Mark-Anthony Edwards
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - B Michael remembers meeting his business attorney
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - B Michael describes his plans for the future of b michael AMERICA
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - B Michael talks about the financial model of b michael AMERICA
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - B Michael talks about his support from prominent African Americans
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - B Michael reflects upon the legacies of his predecessors
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - B Michael talks about the future of black fashion design
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - B Michael remembers dressing Whitney Houston for 'Sparkle'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - B Michael remembers the death of Whitney Houston
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - B Michael remembers the tributes to Eunice Johnson
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - B Michael talks about the diversity initiatives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - B Michael talks about Arthur McGee
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - B Michael reflects upon his career
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - B Michael shares his thoughts on diversity in the fashion industry
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - B Michael describes his hopes and concerns for the African American fashion community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - B Michael reflects upon his relationship with Mark-Anthony Edwards
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - B Michael reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - B Michael talks about his gown in the Nancy Wilson exhibit at the National Museum of American History
  • Tape: 7 Story: 11 - B Michael remembers his friendship with Lena Horne