I have worn Milly and Tory Burch clothing for years, since both brands launched, and all of us here at The Well Appointed House (www.wellappointedhouse.com) enjoyed the fashion week report Friday on both designer’s new collections.
Designer Michelle Smith, the creator and muse for Milly, was drawn to fashion design from an early age. She had an art school scholarship to study fashion illustration and then attended New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. While attending FIT, she worked part-time at the Hermes boutique and upon graduation, she had the courage (and gumption) to write to the President of Hermes and ask for an internship at their Paris headquarters. My motto has always been, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” and so when I read this, I knew that Michelle was a kindred spirit. I admire young women who follow their dreams and aren’t afraid to aim high. Her request was granted by the CEO and this made Michelle Smith the first American employee sent to Paris by this legendary fashion house and luxury brand. Her career was off to a great start…
While in Paris, she continued her studies at a prestigous design school and had other internships at Louis Vuitton, Torrente and Christian Dior Haute Couture. After just three years back at home, she established Milly. Her feminine yet punchy designs are sold worldwide and in October of 2008, Milly opened a Shop-in-Shop in London’s famed Harrods and she is currently expanding to Japan as well.
When looking at the new collections, I remembered a fabulous feature that Elle Decor did on Michelle’s 1920′s apartment in Manhattan, called Thoroughly Modern Milly. The article was written by Melissa Barrett Rhodes, it was styled by Carlos Mota and photographed by Roger Davies. I was 26 and living in Manhattan when I started The Well Appointed House and I liked the fact that Michelle was in her 20′s when she founded her company and is now living in this fabulous two-bedroom apartment with her young daughter, Sophia. It is no surprise that Smith and her business-partner husband, Andrew Oshrin, live on a prime fashion boutique stretch of Madison Avenue (my first office was on East 65th between Fifth and Madison!). The couple thoroughly gutted the apartment and did a nice renovation. Here are some of the pictures from the Elle Decor spread: