Michaele Vollbracht graduated from Parsons in 1967 and began his career as a design assistant for Geoffrey Beene, Donald Brooks, and Norman Norell. After several years working on and off for each designer fell out of love with the technical aspects of design and began focusing on fashion illustration and graphic design. In 1974 he began working as an illustrator for New York department store, Henri Bendel and soon moved on to work at Bloomingdales. It was there where he designed a Working first as an illustrator at Henri Bendel until 1974, his first fame came when working for Bloomingdale’s in 1975 when he designed a shopping bag that with an illustration of a woman’s face and only contained his signature with no store name. The bag surprisingly became popular because of Vollbracht’s chic drawing style and the fact that it did not push a label or brand name.
By 1977 Vollbracht was one of the top illustrators working in fashion. It was then when he established his own fashion company on the basis that women were yearning to move away from the conservative, monochromatic, often beige look of the 1970’s Vollbracht favored patterns and cut bright screened silks into flowing kimono style dresses. He became known for his liberal use of fabric and oversized prints. In the 1980’s he set out to prove that he could take on Givenchy style “Parisian chic” and designed an elegantly draped black velvet gown in his 1980 collection. During his height Vollbracht designed for three ready to wear lines as well as a swimwear line with Sofere. In 1987 Vollbracht retired to concentrate on his portraiture but proved he could not stay away from fashion forever, he became head designer for Bill Blass in 2002.