Austrian Fashion Designer Karl Michael

Karl Michael is an Austrian fashion designer known for his unique, aesthetic, and artistic street style. His creations are inspired by art and cultural history converted with a mix of different fabrics and materials like lace, metal, and organic cotton. The message of his brand „KARLMICHAEL” is „fashion for him, her or whatever you want to be because unisex is the gender of tolerance “.

The last collection series „HIVE3000“ is a rather Grimm version of the future and will be continued over the next few months with a total of 3 shows to present the full vision. It’s an oversubscribing mirror of today’s society and points out that exclusion belongs in the past of the 21st century, old forms and habits must be broken and questioned – no matter if it’s an ideology, gender roles or progress itself.

For those who don’t know you, tell us about your background?

Well my background is very simple I was a hairdresser & I studied illustrating. I started Design to tell stories, that’s why I feel more as a Storyteller than as Fashion Designer.

When did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer?

When I was young I wasn’t into fashion, cause I always felt bored by the ideas of the well-known BIG blahblahblah Designers. When I turned twenty I was so bored by the Fashion Industry, that I had this massive impulse to do something to change it, and KARLMICHAEL was born.

What’s it like being in the Fashion industry?

Adventurous, the people are super funny and weird (I love weirdo’s).

How is the  Austrian Fashion?

I didn’t know that there is one in Austria? I see the „fashion industry “ more as a global thing, I don’t see borders.

What was your first job in the fashion industry?

I was Model Booker at Stellamodels, Roberta (the CEO) is still one of my best friends, my mentor, and kind of a second Mom to me. Without her, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

Talk about the changes in your life since you’ve your own Brand.

It’s surreal. I love my life; random people on the street talk to me and appreciate what I do. I’m so overwhelmed by all the success, cause you know I make my very own way of fashion and I’m so happy that so many people love what I do and my weird ideas, especially when I send the orders from my online shop around the world I feel like my name goes step by step global, and this is crazy. When I pass my shop and I see my own name written on it, I always feel like living a dream.

How do you choose your inspiration?

I never had a muse or similar to that. Ideas and inspirations are always in my head. It’s as my brain is constantly collecting inspirations from all what I see or hear like a Mood board.

In one word: how would you define yourself as a designer?


What advice would you pass along to those starting in the Fashion Business?

Risk everything – fall on your nose – rise like a Phoenix – fuck them who don’t believe in you – and fight for it like it’s your baby

To know more Karl, please visit: KarlMichael


Photo Credits:

Karl Michael

Thomas Lerch

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