Michael Stars was founded by Michael Cohen and Suzanne Lerner in 1986.
Hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, in his early 20s, Michael Cohen began his career in the apparel industry by establishing a Fashion agency that distributed London-based fashion lines. In the late ‘70s he immigrated to the US to expand his business, happily leaving apartheid South Africa.
Ten years later he walked into the showroom of Suzanne Lerner, a natural born entrepreneur in the apparel industry who was running her own showroom at the time. It was this first meeting that ignited both their business and future marriage.
Inspired by the graphic designs of local artist John Stars, the Michael Stars label was born. From there, Michael and Suzanne created the perfect t-shirt, launching a fashion movement. Finding acclaim with their iconic one-sized tee, Michael Stars has successfully evolved into a style-driven lifestyle brand with over three decades in business.
As long-time supporters of equality, economic empowerment, and education, Michael and Suzanne wanted to create a company that inspires opportunities for their community. Today, as a women-led and owned business, Michael Stars continues to foster these brand values by producing a majority of its garments in Los Angeles to ensure quality production and provide local economic opportunities.
Furthering the Michael Stars ethos, Michael and Suzanne founded The Michael Stars Foundation in 2005 to platform the company’s vision of creating an equal world that encourages confidence and empowers women to use their voices. Nearly 15 years since inception, the Foundation has given away nearly two million dollars to grassroots organizations around the world, building critical pathways to equality.
TO MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY AND CONFIDENT WITH WHO THEY ARE
AN EQUAL WORLD WHERE PEOPLE ARE INSPIRED TO USE THEIR VOICE
TO CREATE TIMELESS PIECES WITH ENDURING QUALITY, THAT CAN STAY
WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO IN LIFE
PURPOSE VISION MISSION
Integrity: We do what we say and say what we mean
Quality: We make fashion that is made to last
Unity: We foster collaboration, community, and teamwork
Equality: We value fairness, diversity, and inclusivity
Empathy: We walk in each other’s shoes
Sustainability: We take a mindful approach to sourcing, manufacturing, and design