Perfectionist by nature, whose remarkable work came under the limelight after winning the 2011 CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award, Michael Bastian was born on 13th October 1965. Resident of the Big Apple, he moved to Massachusetts to study at the Babson College in Wellesley. Upon graduation, he came back to New York and took his first job at Abraham & Strauss as an assistant buyer and moved on to higher posts at more reputable firms like Polo Ralph Lauren, Sotheby’s in New York and Tiffany & Co.
Most recently, Michael Bastian is said to be working at Bergdorf Goodman where he’s the Director of Men’s Fashion since five years. After learning the ropes of designing menswear at Bergdorf Goodman, Bastian fulfilled his dream of becoming an entrepreneur and launched his first menswear line in 2006. He also designed three limited edition shirts for men and women in partnership with GAP but it was his menswear line that hit a home run and today Bastian’s menswear line is sold in over 50 retail stores in America, Middle East, Japan and Europe. His line was produced under a licensing agreement with Brunello Cucinelli but then forty five year old designer made the biggest gamble of his professional life; when he terminated the agreement in 2010. The breach in the agreement was due to fact that despite Bastian’s painstakingly crafted luxury outfits were much appreciated by customers, his clothes really didn’t do well in the sales department. The steep price tags of over $500 on shirts and over $1000 dollars on hoodies scared potential customers away during the time of recession.
Bastian’s brand was standing on thin ice but he managed to make a comeback; he collaborated with GANT and produced his line called GANT by Michael Bastian in 2010. Apparently, departing ways with Brunello Cucinelli turned out to be the right move because he was able to lower the prices up to 20%. Bastian’s successful clothing line is distributed in over 60 countries by GANT retail stores as well as independent retailers. The GANT line also included a series of watches and eyewear exclusively designed by the perfectionist designer. It was a smooth sailing for Bastian in 2011. He became part of collaboration with Randolph Engineering and Brazilian brand, Havaianas. Bastian experimented with Randolph Engineering’s modern and vintage models for his collection for Randolph Engineering which consisted of fifteen pieces. For Havaianas, Bastian came up with four limited edition styles and the collection was named Havaianas + Michael Bastian. In the summer of 2013, Michael teamed up with global retailer Uniqlo to produce a limited edition polo shirts line. The line was named Uniqlo X Michael Bastian. The collection’s instant success gave way to the creation of a kid’s line as well in the spring of 2014.
Michael Bastian has won many accolades for his outstanding work. He won the Menswear Designer of the Year award at the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards. He also won the GMHC Fashion Forward: Style Vault Award of 2012. In 2013, he was nominated for the CFDA Designer of the Year Award but the award was eventually bagged by Thom Browne.