Michaela Co is an online store offering a collection of clothing pieces designed, drafted, and sewn by founder and director Michaela Knittel, as well as a selection of vintage and secondhand clothing, accessories, and homewares.
Based in the warehouse district of downtown Kansas City, the studio is open for shopping on a private appointment basis. Showcases are held one weekend a month at the local vintage market Urban Mining in Tower East, Kansas City.
Excerpts from Michaela during an interview with Maimoun Store:
On the brand
“My aim is to curate and create for a woman who is thoughtful, inquisitive, and strongly influenced by a deep sensitivity to her surroundings. One with a sense of modernity, yet a yearning for the past — a sense of privacy, while exuding an underlying sensuality.”
“I am most creatively driven by the feel of things. Emotional feeling and physical feeling. Particularly emotions of intimacy and longing, a delicate secrecy, discernment and lush sparsity. And on the other hand, physical touch is what drives me in my design work. I find the balance and play of emotional and physical feeling to be why I consider apparel design such a unique creative field - and I think why I am drawn to it above all else. What one designs and creates interacts with a person directly - rests upon their skin, is present in their private life. Unlike something beautiful to place flowers in, something provoking to hang on a wall, or something inspiring to place on a bookshelf, clothing is directly involved with the body… and I’ve always found something so intimate and incredible about that concept… a woman’s completely unguarded moments are accessible to a clothing designer in an unusually personal way.”
“…my inspirations come from various time periods from the past. For jewelry I am attracted to designs usually dating between the 50s and 70s with artists like Hans Hansen, Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe, and Betty Cooke. For interior design and architecture I have a special place in my heart for the 1930s. Currently for clothing I am particularly fond of the late 80s and early to mid 90s, especially Giorgio Armani menswear and womenswear from this time period.”
On buying vintage
“Rather than any specific criteria, for me it is the feeling you wish to get from an item that is important to understand and develop within yourself. The act of discovering an item that was made in a certain time with a specific context in mind, and reinterpreting that item in your own time and life’s context is exciting and satisfying. The item is recontextualized, but an echo of what it used to be and mean will always be pulled through and present. This history and echo provides so much depth, and this layered and complex feeling within an item is what I look for… the feeling you get when you are holding the piece and once you add it to your personal space should feel like, not only an extension of yourself, but an even more layered and evocative version.”