About: Michael Vollbracht was born in 1947, in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. In 1964, at the age of 17, he enrolled at the Parsons School of Design in New York. While there, he won the Norman Norell award, the school's highest honour.
Michael Vollbracht has kept in touch with Parsons, being a Visiting Critic since 1972 till 1990.
After graduating in 1969, Michael worked for Geoffrey Beene until 1971 and then for Donald Brooks till 1973. He also designed for Norman Norell in the mid-1970s.
In 1973 he went to work for Henri Bendel as their in-house illustrator. He continued in that function when he moved to Bloomingdale's after another two years, but also designed the store's famous Big Brown Bag, carried out daily by thousands of shoppers.His sketches of celebrities appeared in the New Yorker magazine for ten years.
In 1979 Michael started up his own label for hand-printed silks, and in 1980 won a Coty American Designers Award. He is also known for his Michael V Swimwear line.
Vollbracht brought out a book "Nothing Sacred" in 1985. It is now a collector's item, a visual diary of his 25 years in New York city and the glamorous personalities he met.
His partnership went sour, so in 1985 he returned to his home in Florida and spent his time painting and holding exhibitions. One important one was held in 2000. His artworks are in the collections of ex-President Gerald Ford, Elizabeth Taylor and Diane von Furstenberg.
In 1989, The New Yorker named him one of its top illustrators, and he would produce covers and other art for the next several years.
All his life, he had been a great friend of designer Bill Blass, and when a retrospective exhibition of Blass's work was planned, the designer asked Vollbracht to arrange it. He did so, and tragically Bill Blass died just before the exhibition took place. It opened in October 2002 at the Indiana University Art Museum in Bloomfield, Indiana. Indiana is Bill Blass's home state.
In February 2003, the house of Bill Blass appointed Michael Vollbracht as Artistic Director. His first collection for the house was Spring/Summer 2004.
This is the ideal job for Michael. He knows the way Bill Blass designed, and he is not seeking to change the Blass image in any way. He is also going to travel the United States meeting the Bill Blass clientele, just the way Bill did throughout his career. We wish him luck.