Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Forgotten Designer Marjorie Michael

Marjorie Michael in 1961
Marjorie Michael started her California based dress business in 1948 with 2 sewing machines and 2 employees.  She had a desire to make "custom look clothing that also made women look like women."


While largely forgotten today, Marjorie Michael's creations were considered on par with her contemporaries Peggy Hunt and Dorothy O'Hara.  By 1961, the Marjorie Michael business employed over 60 people and her dresses were sold in over 800 stores and department stores in the U.S.

Michael had one quirk when making her designs.  She only used natural fibers like silk and cotton.  She never used synthetics or synthetic blends, as she felt they were not the high quality she wanted to maintain for garments bearing her label.  Most of her fabrics were imported from France and Italy.  And she liked to purposely use "cotton that doesn't look like cotton."

In the early 1950s, Gracie Allen wore many Marjorie Michael dresses on "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show."  The Marjorie Michael company went out of business sometime in the early 1970s.