If you have ever worn a Michael Stars tee, then you know there is nothing like it. No really. They’re the most comfortable, best fitting tees in the business. And a great fitting tee is everything isn’t it? We think so!
The Spring/Summer Collection is full of vibrant colors, amazing fabrics and we would wear pretty much every single piece. Since that doesn’t happen often, we decided to stop by their Manhattan Beach store to chat with Susan Peterson, VP of Creative and Design, about this fantastic brand and what they have coming for fall.
How did Michael Stars brand get started?
Being stylish and being comfortable should be one and the same. As the founder of the “original tee“, Michael Stars has pioneered casual chic tees since its founding more than two decades ago. A chance meeting with a beachside artist inspired South Africa-native Michael Cohen to launch a unisex T-shirt line. After meeting his future wife, Suzanne, the pair created the Michael Stars known today for its wide selection of perfectly fitted tees, signature “shine” fabric, ultra-soft layering pieces and plush cashmere sweaters. Michael Stars opened its first store in Manhattan Beach in 2001- nine years later, the brand has blown to 11 retail stores and distribution throughout all 50 states and internationally. Michael Stars styles have been featured on the pages of top-selling magazines such as Vogue, Lucky, Elle and InStyle, and the brand counts such celebrities as Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Angelina Jolie and Jessica Biel among its fans.
How has the brand changed?
We’ve grown to many categories. We’re lifestyle instead of just being the original tee, but that’s our roots and I love a tee don’t get me wrong.
Our fabrics are amazing, soft and feel like you’ve owned them forever. We’re really fussy about our fits and something as simple as a tee is the hardest thing. The things that seem the easiest are actually the hardest to do.
You are a one size company. How does that work?
Now that the fashion is more about the over size it works well for everyone because it can fit a lot of people. Now we are branching out to other areas and now offer sizes, too.
We’ve adding sunglasses to our line, and have new fabrics coming for fall and winter, such as leather and cashmere. We’re also doing fedora hats and accessories.
We offer 24 new colors each season. A lot of brands only offer 4.
What inspired this Spring/Summer collection?
The Spring/ Summer collection was inspired by a trip to Mexico. The walls in Mexico were very vibrant, washed sun-bleached and vintage looking, so the colors there really inspired the collection. The vintage wash gives it a look like you’ve owned it forever. We did tie-dye and stripes, which is our signature. We definitely are playing with more prints.
What do you have coming for Fall 2012?
We have a more mature look coming for Fall. We have a lot of blazers and T-shirts. We also have sweaters that look like blazers in a cashmere. We have a lot of leather trimming coming for Fall as well. We are already known as a luxury T-shirt line, but we wanted to try to look even more luxe. We are doing really washed fabrics. Hip with a little bit of an edge and on trend.
Who is your target customer?
We’d like to say ages 28 to 38, but it’s kind of an attitude. There’s a lot of people who wear our clothing and we like it. We think that it has become a hip brand, modern with a bit of an edge – classics with a twist. It’s a wide range.
Can you tell us about the Giving Keys organization?
We did a collaboration with Giving Keys organization. The organization in Giving Keys was created by Caitlyn Cosby who is an actress and singer. She employs homeless to hand engrave keys. We had an event in Santa Monica a few weeks ago. You can have any message you want engraved in the key and you pass along the key to anyone else who may be in need of some uplifting. The point is to pass it along and not to keep the key. Michael and Suzanne are very charitable so we do a lot of in store products.
Is there any advice you can share with us for anyone who wants to start their own clothing line or get into in the fashion industry?
Have a passion for what you do and it comes naturally. If you love what you’re doing then you can show people and they will want it too. I always say teach yourself, try and show how much you love what you do, and you will be happy.
Susan Peterson - VP of Creative and Design
Kelly Coffey – Sr. Coordinator of Marketing & PR
- Michael Stars, Inc.
- 12955 South Chadron Ave.
- Hawthorne, CA 90250
- Charity Products:
- JOYFUL HEART FOUNDATION:
- HAITIAN JEWELRY:
- 31 BITS:
- GIVING KEYS: