B Michael has dressed celebrities from Cicely Tyson to Beyoncé to Brandy. He and his business and life partner, Mark-Anthony Edwards, run their luxury fashion business from a base in what used to be Manhattan’s Garment Center, before wanderlust and ever-escalating rents caused the exodus of so many fashion companies from the area. For 21 years, B Michael America has been a custom house, creating made-to-order clothes for a roster of tony clients, most U.S.-based but with a sprinkling of internationals. Now, Michael and Edwards are re-branding their company with an expansion into luxury ready-to-wear. They will employ a direct-to-consumer model, set to launch for fall 2021.
It’s not their first attempt at rtw. Over the years, Michael and Edwards, both of whom are Black, tried numerous times to go the wholesale route, but found they could not make inroads at the traditional bastions of American luxury retail. Meanwhile, an