Michael Shead was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. At eight years old he saw a documentary on famed American fashion designer Ralph Rucci. It was then he knew his calling in life.
It was Shead’s grandmother, a dressmaker, that taught him how to drape, draft, cut and sew. After she took ill it was Michael who fulfilled her orders in her absence and discovered his love of design.
From then on Michael modeled his designs after his daring imagination and his passion for the woman’s silhouette. He is a self-taught designer who gained knowledge through studying the history of fashion and working for an independent local fashion house and interning under Alive Magazine fashion editor Jill Manoff.
In 2009 Michael was a Project Design contest and showcased his debut womens ready-to-wear line, Michael Shead 1987, as a part of St. Louis Fashion Week. Soon after his launch he was invited to be carried in the primer boutiques in New York, Los Angles and Atlanta.
My dream has always been to create, and for the last ten years I have been fortunate enough to live that dream. As a designer, my goal has been to create work that helps shine a spotlight on the beauty and strength of women. This mission helped guide me through the selection processes for Making the Cut (Amazon Prime Video), where I was a semi-finalist, and Project Runway (Bravo), where I was asked to participate as a member for season 17. It has also helped lead to my work being featured in numerous editorials for local design publications and used by Luichiny Ltd. for a global advertising campaign. 2021 Michael Shead dressed and hand picked by Tamron hall and featured on the Tamron Hall show’s Up and coming designer series. While on the show Michael was presented a surprise opportunity of a lifetime, A mentorship with global fashion emperor Andre Leon Tally. 2021 Michael Shead judged as “premier fashion designer” on a national fashion tv competition Fashion Anarchy where he judged budding designers for season 1.
In addition to designing, I work to help build the local fashion community through creating fashion focused educational opportunities for youth and sitting on panels as an industry expert. As a self-taught designer, teaching classes focused on basics, like sewing and draping, has helped give students a head start at developing the skills they will need to be successful. I have been asked to sit on review panels for local design programs. I have also participated as a panelist during local community panel discussions on “Diversity in Fashion” and “The Future of Fashion.”
Michael continues to experiment with cuts, patterns, fabrics and textures. His current vision is an evolution from his previous seasons, but continues the idea that Michael Shead is a label that depicts a woman in tuned with the world around her. She is optimistic, full of sensuality and passion and uses fashion as the armor against the world.