true essentials
Michael Stars

true essentials

Michael Stars
Art Direction, UI/Digital Design, Environmental Design

The classic tee brand that embodies California-cool style evolved into a collection of luxury essentials for women and men. The elevated, yet casual vibes that make Michael Stars a closet staple was expressed in every single deliverable, every season.

Digital Design

Every new season introduced a new collection of on-trend essentials, and included a new set of campaign lifestyle imagery, as well as studio photography for print and digital. Making the proper photography choices for digital made sure that the seasonal messaging was clear and gave the site a refreshing, new feel that embodied the mood of each campaign. This mood carried across all digital assets, including email marketing, ads and social.

The new site design had an architectural edge to contrast with the organic, billowy shapes of the garments. It gave the brand an elevated structure to balance out the laid-back casual mood in styling and photography.

Michael Stars home page
The angular shapes were an abstract way to show the classic form of a t-shirt collar, specifically a v-neck. The V shape created a downward pointed arrow in the negative space that lead the eye to scroll and also allowed for additional complimentary shapes to work with the layout.

Seasonal Retail Catalog

One of Michael Stars' most successful drivers was direct mail, which consisted of a seasonal catalog for mail subscribers. The catalog highlighted seasonal trends while advocating for year-round wardrobe-essentials. An exclusive offer and invitation to the flagship store's spring line launch came with the catalog, giving their loyal fans a VIP feel. While the cost of the final catalog was high, the ROI never failed, and many featured items sold out within the first week.

Environmental Design

The Michael Stars Curbside Boutique brought street style to a new level. The tee truck took the brand's famous essentials on a cross-country road trip, and introduced new opportunities to create customer engagement, brand awareness, and brand collaborations. The Curbside Boutique brought together the Michael Stars community by creating a fun, easygoing and welcoming environment though loyalty rewards, exclusive giveaways, and partnerships with similar lifestyle brands. Creating consistent design assets, ranging from the truck cover wrap to promotional posters, mailers, and social  assets creating meaningful word-of-mouth and social media buzz. The truck offered new and loyal fans alike an opportunity to try on Michael Stars product in-person, and experience the high-quality fabric and fit that makes Michael Stars a closet staple.

Retail window design included messaging and signage that coincided with the seasonal look books. Every retail display had to be custom designed with each retail store window specifications in mind, and printed deliverables had to be carefully coordinated to arrive at the same time as new merchandise at every location across the country. This meant constant communication with printers across the country, and scheduling shipping/freight services.

Each new collection also included updated environmental designs for showrooms located across the country, including the west coast, midwest and east coast. Trade show booths showcasing Spring and Fall clothing line launches were updated every season with the latest campaign photoshoot images. Like retail store designs, trade show environments also had to be carefully coordinated to arrive in time for cross country setup.

Graphic Design

This typographic brand tee was designed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the T-Shirt. The Michel Étoile message was not just to create a branded product, but to honor the life and legacy of Michael Cohen, founder of Michael Stars. The t-shirt was beloved on social media, and quickly became a staple carryover style.

The Michel Étoile tee on Instagram

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