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 50 Capsule Wardrobes Unpicking a fashion staple. Fashion Issue 50 What Are You Working On? David Koma’s current workload. Fashion Issue 50 Received Wisdom Marimekko’s creative director, Rebekka Bay, on leadership and finding the right work-life balance. Fashion Issue 49 Urban Doom A saturnine mélange of subversive styles. Design Issue 49 At Work With: Muller Van Severen How a home renovation birthed one of Europe’s most distinguished design duos. Fashion Films Issue 47 Farida Khelfa France’s fashion muse.