She wears a hat by WILLIE COLE x COMME DES GARÇONS (FW21), dress by COMME DES GARÇONS (SS14) and shoes by COMME DES GARÇONS (FW14).

Michelle ELIE

  • Words Rosalind Jana
  • Photography Dennis Weber
  • Hair & Makeup Taii Schmoll

An audience with an audacious dresser.

Issue 44

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Design, Fashion

  • Words Rosalind Jana
  • Photography Dennis Weber
  • Hair & Makeup Taii Schmoll

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 f...

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