Everyone of us must live as models to others.
Honored as a Woman of Vision by Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation, Suzanne Lerner has been recognized many times over for her lifetime commitment and achievements in furthering the agenda and rights of women worldwide. From creating that perfect tee we all love today in the fashion industry , to funding many non-profits and dedicating herself to advancing women in the world. It is with absolute pleasure I present to you my personal role mode, Suzanne Lerner - the president of retail company Michael Stars, owner of leading women's contemporary showrooms, Lerner Et Cie and a philanthropist. Suzanne is passionate about giving back and it is evident through the Michael Stars Foundation which supports a variety of charities including Joyful Heart Foundation, Ms. Foundation, Children Mending Hearts and We Advance a non-profit co-founded by Maria Bello to advance the health and well-being of women in Haiti.
Juliet: Before Michael Stars you founded Lerner et Cie, leading women's contemporary showroom. How did you develop your interest in fashion ?
Suzanne: Fashion was not only something I enjoyed, but I also had an eye for it. I don’t know if I developed an interest in fashion as much as I did for women’s issues and activism, but fashion has created a platform for it.
Juliet: Michael Stars is known for raising the t-shirt in fashion status as well as in quality and price. Do you personally wear t-shirts? What is your style?
Suzanne: I’m typically in tees, athleisure bottoms or jeans, and sneakers or boots, but I like to mix in a great piece of jewelry and a fabulous bag. My style lends itself to the Michael Stars and Manhattan Beach lifestyle. Whether I’m in New York or London, I can throw on a blazer or leather jacket to complete the look and still be on trend.
Juliet: Michael Stars is a luxury lifestyle brand. As a Founder do you think it's important to follow and understand fashion trends? How do you stay up to date with fashion?
Suzanne: Business depends on following and staying ahead of the fashion trends. I stay up to date on everything from my traveling to visiting stores to home décor and art. I also follow fashion bloggers and luxury designers and peruse online. I’m constantly keeping my eye on the pulse of our customers to know what they want.
Juliet: What motivates you? What is your creative process like?
Suzanne: My creativity process is explosive. My mind is constantly connecting and creating. I never really know when I’ll be inspired but traveling, interior design, and interactions with new people have a large influence.
Juliet: What do you think it means to be feminine in this day and age?
Suzanne: I think confidence and self-esteem define what it is to be a feminist. It’s how you speak and present yourself that represents who you are.
Juliet: How has living in India, France and Australia played a part in who you are today personally or professionally?
Suzanne: One of the first countries I visited was France, which really fueled my desire to explore the rest of the world. There, I learned how to be comfortable in my own skin and I created lasting friendships. India had a big impact on me professionally as I learned the ins and outs of the garment industry.
Juliet: True to its name, Michael Stars dresses celebrities like Jessica Alba, Olivia Wilde, Sarah Jessica Parker, Maria Bello, Emmy Rossum, Elizabeth Banks and January Jones, among others. Who is / was your dream client?
Suzanne: We are always thrilled when a celebrity chooses to wear Michael Stars – they represent the brand so well with their unique and individual style. Aside from this group of A-listers, I am honored to have Gloria Steinem live in our tees. She’s always been a fan of Michael Stars.
Juliet: If you could change one thing in fashion what would it be?
Suzanne: If I could change one thing in fashion, it would be to ship product according to the season. We ship seasons in reverse – we ship sweaters in July and tanks in January. It’s a huge issue for me!
Juliet: What was the best advice you got ?
Suzanne: Michael always believed in working hard, but having fun too! It was the best advice he ever gave me.
Co-founder of Michael Stars, Michael Cohen founded the import-export fashion agency Bernstein & Cohen at the age of 21. In 1977 he moved to Lost Angeles where he would later meet co-founder Suzanne Lerner. Cohen approached Lerner about representing the brand and in 1986 the two of them launched Michael Stars. Two years later Cohen and Lerner were married. Michael passed away in March 2015.
Juliet Belkin in Santa Monica, wearing Michael Stars.
Photo: Lauri Levenfeld
Murder can be most foul, but that doesn't mean it can't also be thoroughly fabulous. We talk to Plum Sykes, the Author behind Party Girls Die in Pearls.
An American television writer and producer, best known as creator and executive producer of the historical period drama Underground
Simon Doonan about his humble background, working with Diane Vreeland, the Swinging Sixties and so much more.
JOLIEGAZETTE IN COVERSATION WITH DESINGER/ STYLIST BRANDON MAXWELL
“My entire design process takes place on a real woman, as she moves through the studio. It’s important that the clothing is impeccably tailored and makes her feel beautiful and powerful.” Brandon Maxwell
Legendary film director FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA joins JOLIEGAZETTE community to talk about his live cinema experiments, his challenges and the greatest hope for the future.
Reunited with‘Mr. Luke Cage’ himself, Mike Colter, and director Malcolm Lee (Barbershop: The Next Cut) Deborah with appear in Girl Trip (starring Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith) due in theaters in 2017. Read more about the rising star Deborah Ayorinde!
Conversation with one of the best-connected executives in Silicon Valley
PRESIDENT OF MANOLO BLAHNIK IN CONVERSATION WITH JOLIEGAZETTE
Though she grew up knowing that her grandmother was a film and style icon, Emma Ferrer (granddaughter of the legendary Audrey Hepburn) is a product of self-discovery.
If you listen to what the artist wants, as a craftsman, you work to bring the artist’s vision to fruition.
Hundreds of dancers around the world disrobed for a Jordan Matter Dancers After Dark photography.
Louis Vuitton Trunk on Fire by Tyler Shields
Gorgeous designs with some extra oomph
International Pop Star Opens Up About His Music, Fame and Family
A true balancing act of Cirque de Soleil artist and mom !
Mauricio Padilha is no stranger to the fashion world. CEO of MAO Public Relations in New York keeps Mauricio connected to this industry at all times.