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July 24, 2015updated Feb 19, 2016

Precious Posts Designer of the Month: MICHELE Watches

By Zahra Al-Kateb

MMM3MICHELE Watches seamlessly combine elegance, functionality and sophistication with hand set diamond cases, mother of pearl dials and interchangeable straps. In this interview MICHELE Watches tells us about the history of the brand, current trends and what they expect to see for 2015.

What’s the history of your Watch Brand?

MICHELE began as a gift from a father to his daughter, and now is a gift for every woman. It is the story of a family that created a watch, inspired by art and design. The brand was founded in Miami, which inspired the Art Deco design of the collection and the vibrant, interchangeable straps that define it. MICHELE was one of the first brands to embellish stainless steel watches with hand-set diamonds. The brand was acquired in 2004 by Fossil where it has continued to stay grounded in the rich heritage of the brand, emphasizing craftsmanship and quality while creating beautiful and innovative timepieces.

How has the design element changed since it was integrated into Fossil?

MICHELE has remained true to its roots and faithful to its heritage. The brand’s feminine, Art Deco-inspired aesthetic remains the foundation of its design. Over time MICHELE’s design philosophy has evolved to blend timeless elegance with modernity for a combination of classic and feminine style.

Tell me about the brand’s biggest accomplishment of 2014.  

In 2014 we began celebrating extraordinary women in our My Michele Moment campaign. We went on a pursuit for women from different areas of expertise who are making a difference in the world, and specifically for other women, and awarded them a MICHELE to honor their hard work. We are passionate about designing beautiful pieces by women for women, and recognizing women who inspire us.

What trends in watches are you seeing for 2015?

For 2015 we are seeing watches take on a slim, simplified and elevated design language. Wearable technology is an undeniable trend that is taking hold in all accessories.

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MMM2What is the design inspiration for the brand?

We are inspired by femininity and the beauty and strength of women, as well as Art Deco, travel, cultural exploration, fashion, nature, color and celebrating life’s moments.

Do you see Michele Watches responding to the Smart Watch movement and how?

We see connected accessories as a fantastic opportunity to expand our relationship with our woman and her life. We are currently working on concepts to be ready for 2016.

How does Michele stand out from its competitors in its price range?

MICHELE is unique in its position in that there aren’t many competitors in our price range. We offer tremendous value for craftsmanship, level of design and luxury materials. MICHELE’s differentiating aspects are interchangeability, creativity, luxury materials and American brand heritage.

MMM1What materials and techniques does the brand favor?

MICHELE has long been known for high quality materials in our timepieces and straps. We use hand-set diamonds and semi-precious stones, as well as genuine mother-of-pearl, 18k gold-plating and Swiss movements. The signature zigzag stone setting is a hallmark of the brand. Our interchangeable straps are crafted from genuine alligator and premium calfskins sourced from around the world.

How do you get 20 somethings to wear watches when they look at their phones for the time?

We don’t believe in the watch verses phone battle. Our pieces do much more than tell time, they tell a story. Our watches are jewelry–an accessory that also tells time. The MICHELE woman chooses MICHELE not just because it is beautiful and she appreciates the craftsmanship, but also because she can make the watch her own each time she puts it on. Our interchangeable straps make each watch a moment of personal expression.

How do you approach a new collection? Where do your ideas evolve from?

Each collection begins with the intersection of creativity and the DNA of the brand.  The team and I cull personal inspiration and ideas and explore them through the lens of MICHELE. Ideas come from the MICHELE heritage but also from our travels, relationships and art. For example, the Fall 2015 story came from the first feelings of love, based on relationships, engagements, weddings, and new babies on our team.

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