Michelle continued to fill her closet with her own creations while attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she studied the art of printmaking. Lithography, silk-screening, etching, and woodblock printing eventually found their way onto fabric and the Michelle Lesniak textile was born. Using these textiles, she constructed artist gowns and sculptures.
Fast-forward 10 years. (Those 10 years were focused in the wine industry – making, teaching, and tasting – until she hit 30 and realized she yearned to go back to her fashion roots).
Determined to jumpstart her career in fashion, Michelle tried out for Project Runway, landing a spot on Season 11. Her lack of formal training gave her an edge; there were no rules to follow. As a self-proclaimed, professional rule breaker, Michelle won the season and the ability to design full-time, a luxury many designers never achieve.
This rule-breaker, no-shit-taker continues to live in Portland, Oregon focusing on small production and emotive clothing, as she likes to say, “Fashion with a purpose”. Fun Facts: Favorite color – dirty chartreuse. Chihuahua lover. Project Runway All-Stars alum. Former trombonist. 5’5” in flats – wicked tall in heel.
On FashioNXT runway Michelle will show her Thornebird collection, inspired by love and hurt.