Michelle Smith, Former Milly Designer, Goes Her Own Way With New Namesake Brand

by Freya Drohan

Michelle Smith, the American designer beloved by the likes of Michelle Obama, Jennifer Lopez, and Kristen Stewart, has revealed her new eponymous venture. The 47-year-old fashion figure, who was at the helm of Milly from 2000-2019, says she will release just two tightly-edited and limited-editions collections a year. Indeed, it’s a stark contrast to Milly, which produced a mind-boggling 27 drops a year, each containing up to 100 styles.

Smith shared the details of the launch over the weekend in a thorough and personal interview with The New York Times. In the piece, the mom-of-two discussed her new relationship with celebrity-favorite SoulCycle instructor Stacey Griffith, the traumatic experience of Milly (which she co-founded with ex-husband Andrew Oshrin) being sold for scraps, and how designing the dress that the First Lady wore in her official portrait was the most exciting moment of her design career.

It’s that same sense of excitement and distinction that she’s aiming to bring to her fledgling brand. There will be no plan for a rapid (and ultimately unsustainable) expansion. Instead, lookbooks for the two annual collections will be released in advance for pre-order, and the brand will only produce what is purchased. Customers can expect a total departure from the Milly offering, which was all about vivid colors and on-trend prints. This new Michelle Smith chapter will focus on high quality, time-honored garments “created with passion, wit, intention, and love.”

If the first look—chock full of rich colors, sumptuous fabrics like alpaca and cashmere, and effortlessly elegant silhouettes—is anything to go by, this will be a label to bookmark.

See the debut collection below:

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