Friday, June 1, 2007

NYSD Fashion: MILLY’s Michelle Smith

Recently our fashion reporters, Jennifer Goodkind and Jayne Chase caught up with new mother and hot designer, Michelle Smith, the founder of MILLY. Sitting in her downtown showroom with cookies and lemonade, surrounded by her fabulous Fall 2007 Collection, the Co-Hosts of A Fashionable Life, dished about the collections, the future and her welcomed new baby.

Michelle Smith
Spring 2007 has been ushered in by the usual trends that mark a season: metallics, florals, bright colors and a nod to the sixties. Michelle Smith, the designer behind the label, MILLY, seems to be a consistent winner in the minds of fashion trendsetters.

A “go to” label for classic looks interpreted with a youthful exuberance, a MILLY dress can be found in the closet of a high school senior who will wear her dress for graduation and beyond as well as a forty something mother who covets the wool Holly Go Lightly inspired coat from the Fall 2007Colllection and is thrilled to find the perfect LBC (little black coat).

Working now on her Spring 2008 collection, Michelle has been thinking a lot about a great tailored pant. She feels with the strength of the dress for the past three or four seasons, she is obsessing over the great shapes for pants. For anyone who is a "pant person", this is evidenced by the lack of pants available for those of us who just feel better not having to worry about crossing our legs when we sit down and have a closet full of every style blue jean on the market.

But, you can't talk about building a clothing line without identifying where it fits into the budget. Michelle started the business (with her husband, Andy who is the "numbers" guy) with a strong sense of where she wanted her prices to be. She wanted her customer to be able to buy several dresses without breaking the bank and fulfill her every need from work, play and evening wear.

It's not to say that the MILLY customer doesn't buy designer clothes as well ... she does, but she is fashion savvy and able to work many looks together into a perfect outfit. Michelle uses fabrics which are feminine and definitive. Her bold use of color conjures up Christmas time in Palm Beach, or spring time in New York. Destinations and travel are a part of Michelle's life and her bold plan for MILLY.  Recently she was approached by the Punta Mita Resort in Mexico where she agreed to design their first clothing called the Punta Mita Collection.

Michelle is thrilled to be part of this collaboration and she knows this is a great way to branch out into other creative endeavors. Who knows with a new baby at home, she may even get into baby clothes, home furnishings and other designs. As devoted MILLY fans, we are ready whenever she is!
*Jayne Chase and Jennifer Goodkind co-host A Fashionable Life every week on 1490AM WGCH in Greenwich Connecticut. Heard throughout the tri-state area and worldwide on the web at, they are coming together monthly for New York Social Diary to bring you the faces and personalities that make up the international New York Fashion Scene.

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