She wears a hat by WILLIE COLE x COMME DES GARÇONS (FW21), and two dresses and an arm protector by COMME DES GARÇONS (SS14). For Michelle Elie, fashion is a matter of life and death. When she gave birth to her eldest son, she carefully deliberated over what fabric to swaddle him in. She’s already planning her burial outfit. The Haitian-born, Cologne-based jewelry designer, editor and model is one of those rare people whose approach to dress is characterized not just by pleasure, but by absolute devotion. Elie is best known for her extensive Comme des Garçons collection. She bought her first piece in New York in 1992 when she landed a beauty campaign with Maybelline. Several years later, after moving to Germany with her husband, she acquired another piece from Rei Kawakubo’s now-renowned 1997 collection Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body. In more recent years, Elie has become a remarkable fixture on the fashion circuit: lauded not only for her jaw-dropping style but for her This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Four Buy Now Related Stories Fashion Issue 44 Under the Sun Far niente, on the faraway island of Alicudi. Design Interiors Issue 44 Giancarlo Valle At work with Giancarlo Valle. Fashion Films Issue 44 Wardrobe Malfunction Why does the fashion in films so often disappoint? Design Issue 44 Last Night: Tina Frey What did the San Francisco–based designer do with her evening? Design Interiors Issue 43 Vincent Van Duysen At home with the cult architect. Fashion Issue 43 Mind Games Cerebral fashion, from the deepest folds of the cortex.