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    « Our Home Tour/Feature On Elle Decor | Main | The IT LIST- Summer Safari »
    Thursday
    May142015

    STYLE PROFILE Michelle Smith -Co-Founder And Designer of MILLY 

    “The MILLY collection epitomizes bold, advanced contemporary fashion with a feminine edge. Designer Michelle Smith transforms classic silhouettes by merging American sportswear influences with distinctive Parisian atelier techniques. Smith’s eye for impeccable detail, use of luxurious, cutting-edge fabrics and precise tailoring have made MILLY a cult favorite across the globe.”

    I am a HUGE fan of Milly {outfits herehere, and here, and here } and honored to be able to share this interview and style profile of Michelle Smith, co-founder and deigner of Milly.

    Milly is also a sponsor of the “Know Your Value” nationwide tour, and tickets to the event in Washington, D.C. are available for purchase on msnbc.com/knowyourvalue.

    Quote from Mika Brezinksi-  co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, founder of “Know Your Value” and author of “Grow Your Value.” 

    “Michelle really knows how to tap into a woman’s personality and her needs.  She designs beautiful pieces that are fun, whimsical, serious—if necessary, but ultimately realistic. Her clothes are not hard to wear, and she genuinely loves making women happy through their style.” – Mika Brzezinski

    1. What does a typical day look like for you?
    I get up early, wake up my kids and get them ready for school and head out for an early workout, while my husband Andy (the CEO of MILLY) makes them breakfast. Once we drop them off at school we might stop by the MILLY boutique to see how things are going which is down the street from our apartment. Then we’ll head to our office, which is in the heart of the Garment District in NYC.
     
    I am are currently deciding on colors and fabrics for my Spring ’16 collection- which is one of my favorite parts of the design process. I deliver a new collection every month, and I make sure that I have time to sketch for a few hours every day to ensure the designs get completed on time.
     
    Depending on the day, my fit model might come by to try on all of the pieces from the most recent collection. I try everything on, too, to make sure every detail is perfect. I’ll also work with our buyers to  finalize which pieces we’ll buy for the MILLY ecommerce website, the MILLY boutique in New York City on Madison Avenue and the MILLY Boutique in East Hampton on Main Street.
     
    After that, I might meet with the marketing team to discuss an upcoming event or collaboration idea, or I might meet with our web merchandiser to select images from a recent photo shoot.
     
     2. How would you describe your personal style?
    Bold, Feminine, Sexy, Uncomplicated and Modern.
    I design the MILLY collection to be like my dream closet, so everything I design is what I love wearing. While I love to wear black, I am always drawn to luscious colors and intricate prints. I’m a big fan of a high heel and some leg—you’ll rarely see me in pants, unless it’s jeans when I’m with my kids on the weekends.
     
    3. What are your favorite items in your wardrobe and why?
    I love a statement coat no matter the season, it dresses up everything. 

     

    4. Do you have any style or beauty secrets to share?
    I keep it simple: a swipe of Chanel mascara and eyeliner, some lip gloss and go. And there’s nothing a good blowout can’t cure.
     
    5. How do you spend your “me” time?
    I love SoulCycle spinning classes! I have one instructor who really gets me pumped up and I love the music. I’ve made friends in my classes which is a great motivator!
    At the end of the day, my husband Andy and I usually leave work together. We like to head home to catch up with our family and hear about everyone’s day over dinner. I love to read bedtime stories to them before they head to sleep.
     
    6. What fashion trends are you excited about this Spring and Summer?
    My spring 2015 collection is a study in contradiction- it will feature dramatic, sculptural shapes created from intricate, almost weightless fabrics.  There will be a very modern, kinetic energy flowing through the collection. It’s hard for me to keep secrets leading up to the show so I post #millyspoileralerts on Instagram. (Follow me @millybymichelle…)
     
    7. What is the most important thing you have learned by running your own business?
    You are your own best advocate and that you need to constantly evolve. MILLY has expanded from ready to wear and handbags to MILLY Cabana swimwear and MILLY Minis childrenswear. I now have my own stores in New York, Japan and throughout the Middle East as well as my own ecommerce site, MILLY.com

     

    8. What is your personal mantra? 
    Passion is the most important thing. If you do what you love, you have a much better chance of being successful.
     
    9. Do you have a favorite power look? If so, please describe it.
    Every woman needs a well-cut jacket.  Jackets give the shoulder a nice, strong line, and look more powerful.  I always keep a jacket at my desk which pulls my look together, almost like psychological armor.

     

    Style Profile is a bi monthly style column featuring creative and talented entrepreneurs and business owners. I feature the stylish women behind these successful businesses and brands, their personal style, and share a glimpse into their typical work day.  

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