year is 1977, and Michael Simon is a struggling ballet dancer
living in a studio in the East Village of New York City. To make
ends meet Michael takes a job working a handloom knitting machine
to produce leggings for his fellow ballet dancers.
Pretty soon he buys his own handloom machine and decides to branch
out and make sweaters, however the only yarn he can buy is old
stock from the 1950’s which are all bright neon colors.
The actual designs are limited by the capacity of the hand loom
machine in his studio which restricts him to straight lines, so
the sweater is a loose fitting classic cowl neck,one size fits
Michael Simon, the entrepreneur, now ventures out on his first
sales trip with bright neon colored sweaters. The sales plan was
simple, day one walk East and sell to the first boutique found,
day two walk West, same plan, day three, walk North and so on.
results were phenomenal; the buyers loved his bright neon sweaters
with the clean lines and loose fit. Soon everyone from Henri Bendel
to Charivari and all the trendy boutiques in NYC were buying Michael’s
sweaters… The handloom knitting machine in the East Village
studio was literally bursting at the seam.
Amazing what a 24 year old, with energy to burn, a hand loom machine
and a dream can accomplish!
As growth continued Michael hired a band of knitters and sewers
and moved to a leased space in the garment district. The rest
is history; Michael went on to become a celebrated CFDA member
winning numerous awards. He enlisted artisans as well as designers
and made his mark by always incorporating fun and art into fashion
Michaels' designs have graced the covers of Women’s Wear
Daily and been featured in almost every fashion magazine including
Vogue, Elle, In Style and Glamour.
Just goes to show that Superman and Batman were not the only men
in tights to make it big in Gotham City.