TFAS Interviews: Designer Michael Huang

Enter the Fashion to Figure Contest!

michael huang fashion designer

I first met Michael in high school. We both went to different schools, but played in District Orchestra together. Then he left District 2 to finish high school at the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and the Humanities. I would hear little bits and pieces about him over the years via friends, the internet, and Facebook.

Facebook is where I actually found him again, just the other day. I saw pictures from his new collection pop up on my timeline, and knew I had to check them out. His clothes are beyond gorgeous, and I am not just saying that because I know him. They really are amazing. The deconstructed looks truly show how talented this self taught designer really is. Oh and if you’re wondering…the green dress is my favorite!

michael huang fashion designer
Check out the interview below.

michael huang fashion designer

When did you become interested in fashion?

This is going to sound ridiculously gay, but I started by designing dresses for Disney princesses when I was three or four. I always thought it was kind of silly that they only had one day look and one evening look. They’re princesses, aren’t they? (My mom still has my old sketches in spiral-bound notebooks in the attic.)

Where did you study or were you self taught?

Self-taught. I did a brief stint at Parsons’ Summer Intensive Study program during the summer 2004, where I studied fashion illustration, but most of what I know about construction and patternmaking, I learned from taking apart thrift store garments and watching youtube videos. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not.

How did you hone your craft?

Experimentation. You slice things apart, you stitch them back together. You cut weird shapes out of fabric and drape them on yourself and try to find new and interesting ways to construct the same old shit. I used to reconfigure things I already owned just to practice sewing and fitting garments. It’s all still a work in progress.

What was your inspiration for this collection? I can see some Yohji Yamamoto/Rei Kawakubo type deconstruction.

I mean, more than anything else, I’m interested in the process clothes go through; more than what they look like when you first buy them, I’m interested in what they look like after they’ve been worn daily for a year. That idea that clothes are ultimately utilitarian, and in a way, also completely autobiographical. I do watch fashion shows, but when I design, I’m not thinking of specific designers or construction techniques so much as I am about a mood or an emotion.

But most of these clothes–well, dresses excluded–I made for myself because I needed clothes. They are, in part, inspired by the Japanese, because I’ve always really responded to their investigation of shape and form and deceptive simplicity, but also in part by the street culture of Copenhagen, where I spent my last year working.

What are your plans for the future? Do you see stores, fashion shows, or market appointments in your future?

No idea. I like to fly by the seat of my pants. All I know is I’m moving up to New York in two weeks. That’s about as far ahead as I’ve planned.

michael huang fashion designer

Photo Credit:
Photographer: Travis Teate
Model: Sophia Chen
Make-Up: JRenee Johnson
Clothing: Michael Huang
Stylist: Marquis Bias



  1. January 13, 2011 / 2:55 pm

    The crepe/drapey pieces are beautiful, like avant papermache. And I enjoyed hearing his thoughts on his own designing process.

    • Anonymous
      January 13, 2011 / 5:00 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed this interview! I’m really happy for him, and wish him the best of luck.

  2. January 13, 2011 / 5:07 pm

    I thought the same thing with the Yohji reference
    When I first saw his images on Facebook I was like he’s LOCAAALL?? And now I find he’s leaving 🙁 So sad.

  3. January 13, 2011 / 5:44 pm

    He designs are gorgeous. I really impressed. Love a new designer that has hot fashions! I can’t believe he was local and I had no idea about him.

  4. valerie.
    January 13, 2011 / 9:29 pm

    MICHAEL HUANG IS THE NEXT BIG THING! i heard it first. telling everyone.

    • Anonymous
      January 13, 2011 / 9:31 pm

      Yay Valerie!

  5. Eirelav
    January 13, 2011 / 9:30 pm

    How much for the coat?

    • Anonymous
      January 13, 2011 / 9:36 pm

      I don’t know prices yet. I will have to check with him.

    • Anonymous
      January 13, 2011 / 10:27 pm

      The samples aren’t for sale. Sorry.

  6. January 16, 2011 / 8:18 am


  7. January 16, 2011 / 8:18 am

    and the clothes are amazing! i am IN LOVE with the model. does anyone have her contact info??

    • Anonymous
      January 16, 2011 / 5:13 pm

      Umm I think she is a local model from my hometown. I don’t really have her contact info.

    • Lih2806
      January 17, 2011 / 7:21 am

      the model’s name is sophia chen

  8. Laurel
    April 26, 2012 / 10:55 pm

    I ran into Steven and Sophia Chen at Chris Colfer’s “Struck By Lightning” premiere a few days ago. Seriously, they are the funniest and most beautiful sibling duo ever. I would have never guessed that they were from South Carolina. Sophia is at Yale now, while Steven is making the rounds in LA. Best of luck to both of them! Oh, and the clothes are fantastic! 😉

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