Designer Spotlight Interview with Michael Howard of Smock Me

By: Carley Schumann
Photography by: Eva Maria Guggenberger | EMG Photography

smock me

Style Fashion Week visited the West Hollywood studio of emerging designer, Michael Howard—the creative mind behind Smock Me. See below for sneak-peaks of the collection and a full interview with Michael about his beginnings as a designer and insights on his career as he continues to build his vision.

smock me

Entering the studio, we were immediately greeted by Michael's mischievous pig, Mr. Meat, who has become the inspiration behind of some of Smock Me's upcoming designs. Mr. Meat, the SmockMe pig, has a wardrobe of his own and changes his hair color frequently—check out his Instagram @mr.meat_ He definitely takes after his father. 

As we talked, I sifted through the many unique designs draped amongst the racks, when one particular jacket caught my eye. The back read, “Fear is Fuel for the Soul.”  He walked me outside of his studio to reveal the mantra painted on the wall as well.  “I came here with nothing but my backpack.” He explained. 

It was eight years ago, after losing both of his parents, that he decided that it was time to immerse himself in a new environment. He packed his backpack, and left for Los Angeles without a plan. He explained how the fear of the unknown propelled him forward on his journey. Without a place to stay, he ran into a friend on his first day in town, who gave him a temporary home as he established himself in his new surroundings. He experimented in acting, but when it failed to inspire him, he began working and designing for a shop on Melrose. He additionally began teaching himself to sew. 

Michael Howard

Michael Howard

Growing up in the Brooklyn 90’s, Michael has always found inspiration in brands like Iceberg and Coogi. He also finds inspiration in vintage cartoons like Rocco’s Modern Life, CatDog and others that bring his audience feelings childhood nostalgia. Fashion and the expression of dress was always something he admired—specifically, unique pieces that couldn’t be replicated. He was never interested in fashion that felt like something “everyone else was wearing.” 

It was three years ago when he designed his first piece. The garment was a second hand jean jacket, which he distressed and customized by attaching some 1930’s Pop-Eye characters from his collection. He placed the jacket in the Melrose storefront where he was working. When almost immediately, a customer recognized the value and uniqueness of the garment, Michael knew he was onto something. He began designing more distinct pieces for himself and his friends, and when they continued to receive a tremendous amount of attention when wearing the garments, Smock Me was born. 

Michael takes pride in the originality of each garment. Each piece is a reflection of the emotion and inspiration that was flowing within him on the moment of creation. While these core pieces can never be replicated, he has begun to incorporate graphic design into his collections. He intends for the Smock Me graphic collection to be similar in exclusivity to his core designs—once released, there will be only a limited amount of each graphic collection available. His first graphic collection will debut during Style Fashion Week Palm Springs. 

On April 6th at the Palm Springs Air Museum, guests can look forward to a collection launch which will include Smock Me core, graphic, swim and accessories. Smock Me presented his first collective during New York Fashion Week this past February. This will be his first time showing with Style Fashion Week. 

Michael continues to let the unknown guide him in all of his endeavors, creating each moment with the stroke of his brush and letting his intuition lead the way. We look forward to his collection debut at Style Fashion Week, Palm Springs. 


FW'18 Streetwear Looks at Cipriani During New York Fashion Week

This past week at Cipriani, Dertbag, Shay Kawaii, H33M and Chicago Playground showcased their FW'18 collections during Style Fashion Week New York. While Style Fashion Week has been known for supporting established, emerging and international designers since their beginnings in 2011—this season, during New York Fashion Week, they partnered with Papertrail Magazine in an effort to support the increasingly popular streetwear culture. These young brands and designers, often the inspiration behind luxury giants, rarely make their way to the New York Fashion Week runway—operating under tight margins without corporate budgets to produce major runway shows. Style Fashion Week helps to share the cost of these major productions—providing designers the platform to display their work on the same level as their luxury competitors. Style Fashion Week recognizes that these designers are a vital piece of the fashion community and will continue to work to support them. (Photos by Mark Gunter)


Project Runway Finalist to Compete in Charleston Fashion Week 2018

Charleston Fashion Week


Showcasing fashion designers, retailers, and models, the 12th annual Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® (#LexusCFW) is one of the premier fashion weeks in North America. Named a Top 20 Event for March by the Southeast Tourism Society, this multimedia event presents high-end runway shows, interactive entertainment, chic after- parties, and press events. The 2017 event featured more than 40 runway shows with 8,100 attendees. Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® 2018 is scheduled for March 13 – 17, 2018.  

Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® is proud to announce the top 12 Emerging Designer Semifinalists for the 2018 fashion competition. This year, Emerging Designers hale from a diverse collection of cities around the country, include a former Project Runway contestant (Kenya Freeman) and features the competition's youngest designer ever–she's 12 years old.

Each Emerging Designer will compete for the top prize March 13 – 17, 2018 under the tents in Marion Square in the heart of historic downtown Charleston. Tickets are now on sale for the hotly anticipated fashion event of the year. Visit the CFW website to purchase runway tickets, nightly passes, VIP packages and more.

“We were overwhelmed by the number of talented applicants of all ages, skill sets and education,” said Pauline Nakios, CFW fashion panel judge. “Each up-and-coming designer chosen will showcase his or her collection on the nationally-recognized runway before leading fashion insiders, influencers and media.”

“Charleston Fashion Week gives aspiring fashion designers the opportunity and platform to present their collections on a professional runway and share ideas with true industry professionals. I am pleased to be a part of the event for the seventh year!” - Fern Mallis, author and creator of New York Fashion Week.

The Lexus Charleston Fashion Week® 2018 Emerging Designer Competition Semifinalists chosen to debut their collections include:

  • Tygerian Burke // Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Kelly Callaway // Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Kenya Freeman // Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tina Gancev // Atlanta, Georgia
  • Sharae Hines // Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Heather Rose Johnson // Charleston, South Carolina
  • Tierra Macon // Los Angeles, California
  • Joan Madison // Columbus, Ohio
  • Kimberly Millar // Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Patresea Peppers // Atlanta, Georgia
  • Emilie Schroeder // Brooklyn, New York
  • Patrick Tai & Terrence Henderson // Charlotte, North Carolina

The 2018 Emerging Designer Grand Prize Winner, selected by a fashion panel of judges at the Saturday night Fashion Finale, will receive an enhanced prize package worth more than $40,000, including the following:

  •  $10,000 cash
  • Once-in-a-lifetime lunch with Fern Mallis in New York City in 2018
  • Mentorship with L2 Apparel and Lilia P. CEO, Pauline Sokol Nakios
  • Featured Designer event or show at Charleston Fashion Week 2018
  • $10,000 website or search engine marketing package from F22 Internet Solutions

The Emerging Designer Competition began eleven years ago and serves as a platform for undiscovered talent, connecting them with top fashion trendsetters including New York Fashion Week Founder and international fashion consultant, Fern Mallis, and CFDA members and top designers like David Hart, CADET, and Tracy Reese. Previous winners and contestants have been featured in VOGUEMarie ClaireELLEWomen’s Wear Daily and on, along with other major media outlets; and their collections have been picked up by stores including Anthropologie, BARNEY’s New York and Neiman Marcus. For more information, including tickets and availability, visit or @chasfashweek.



RAGTRADE ATLANTA presents a week of fashion in Atlanta culminating into a dynamic runway show featuring some of the city's hottest designers. Below is a full listing of every event and the RSVP/ticketing links are provided.

ragtrade atlanta w buckhead

Monday, October 2, 2017

Event: RAGTRADE ATLANTA x W Atlanta Buckhead Opening Night

Location: W Atlanta Buckhead | 3377 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30326

Time: 7pm to 10pm / RSVP:

ragtrade atlanta fashion in atlanta

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Event: Fashion in Atlanta Presents Fashion Illustrator Stephanie Gentry

Location: W Atlanta Buckhead | 3377 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30326

Time: 6pm to 8pm / RSVP:

Ticketed Event: $20.00 to receive a fashion illustration

meet the designers ragtrade atlanta

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Event: Meet the Designers

Location: The Gathering Spot | 384 Northyards Boulevard NW, Bldg 100, Atlanta, GA 30313

Time: 6pm to 8pm / RSVP:


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Event: RAGTRADE ATLANTA Runway Show Presented by The Lincoln Motor Company

Location: Georgia Freight Depot | 33 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Atlanta, GA 30303

Time: 6pm to 9:30pm / RSVP:


RAGTRADE ATLANTA Returns this October

RAGTRADE ATLANTA, an award-winning fashion organization devoted to the discovery and promotion of top emerging fashion designers from around the globe, will return to host their 4th annual runway show October 2 – 5, 2017. The Lincoln Motor Company will return as the official title sponsor. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics will return as the official makeup sponsor, Factor Chosen Model Management will return as the official model sponsor, Keune Academy by 124 will return as the official hair sponsor and Lectra will return as an official supporting sponsor.  W Atlanta-Buckhead will host the fashion week official opening night party. The full week of events will include:

  • 10/2: Opening Night Party Presented by The Lincoln Motor Company and W Atlanta-Buckhead
  • 10/3: Fashion in Atlanta Presents Fashion Illustrator Experience
  • 10/4: Meet the Designers Presented by The Gathering Spot
  • 10/5: RAGTRADE ATLANTA 2017 Runway Show Presented By The Lincoln Motor Company

Limited tickets are on sale. To purchase tickets, please visit:

ragtrade atlanta fashion week


The Face Magazine Issue 5 Release and Fashion Show

E. Vincent Martinez, The Face Magazine runway. Photos by: Torey Searcy Photography

E. Vincent Martinez, The Face Magazine runway. Photos by: Torey Searcy Photography

Joseph McCrae


Elias Gurrola

Hamptons Men's Clothier

Rinat Brodach

From evening wear to menswear to the avant garde, The Face Magazine set Charlotte on fashion fire recently at their Issue 5 Release fashion show. The runway was ablaze with looks from talented emerging artists as well as established brands like Dillards and Hampton's Men's Clothier. Designers Joseph McCrae and Elias Gurrula proved they are NYFW ready with their collections and featured designer Rinat Brodach showed us how it's "done" in New York. 3BlackBird Management models rocked the runway, giving us the modern, chic and edgy woman set forth by the designers. I was thrilled to emcee the show which took place at Le Meridien Charlotte and interact with stylish guests.



Emerging Designer Take-over at Doggies on the Catwalk

doggies on the catwalk art institute fashionado

Runway & Photo Shoots

The Art Institute of Atlanta

For the second year in a row, the Art Institute of Atlanta has commanded the 'catwalk' at the annual Doggies on the Catwalk hosted at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. These emerging designers continue to demonstrate their talent and creativity. They wowed guests with their edgy, glam and RTW looks. The designers' vision came to fruition through our partnerships with CLICK Models and the Green Room Agency. Nyssa Green and her spectacular team gave life to all looks with the right hair and make-up. [And] because these clever designers know how to make use of the best opportunities, they took the time before the event to shoot editorial photos with their models. 

They make me very proud and it's been a pleasure serving as their professor at the Art Institute of Atlanta. The President and Provost sat in the front row of Doggies on the Catwalk and just gleamed with well-deserved pride. The featured designers were: Haze Devlin, Tyra Hart, Katherine Hillis and Tierra Macon.

Can't get enough?? Join us on June 12th at the AC Hotel in Buckhead for the Art Institute of Atlanta Senior Showcase runway show for more!