Michaela Buerger is a French fashion designer and doyenne of modern knitwear.
Having learned to knit from an early age, a skill passed down from her mother in her native Austria, Michaela has been on a journey to push hand craft into the luxury market independently and without the support of a large fashion house.
Beginning in Paris in 2010 with two knitting needles and a small amount of money, Michaela slowly and carefully developed collections of sweaters featuring crochet inserts, crochet trimmed shirting and t-shirts, denim and childrenswear into a global boutique label. A label that while in demand, continues to shy away from mass production in favour of authenticity.
The designs are all hand drawn and sketched by Michaela, then developed into knitwear patches using the finest wools and yarns. Experimentation is key, so at present recycled fabrics and thread are being upcycled into luxury knitwear.
In 2014 pieces were making its way to the Asian underground fashion scene, which led her to be included in the ultimate edit - the quintessential Parisian concept store, Colette.
A design, which can take days to produce or when made by Michaela herself “two days if I start at 8am and finish at 11pm without breaks” - are all hand drawn by Michaela and then knitted, crocheted and embroidered with utmost care.
Each collection is produced in collaboration with a Bosnian Collective whose mission is to achieve economic empowerment of women in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a goal shared with Michaela since founding her brand. With a team of women who have risen to the challenge making the intricate and technically difficult designs since the very first collection was made, she has a strong production bond and can trace each piece back to its original knitter. Michaela Buerger was one of the few brands to work with the idea of #whomademyclothes years before it was a hashtag.
A graduate of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna under the tutelage of Raf Simons, Michaela’s designs can now be found in Le Bon Marche, Paris; Bergdorf Goodman New York; Galeries Lafayette, Paris; Isetan, Tokyo; Shopbop, USA and one of her first and most supportive clients, Tom Greyhound, Seoul.
“I want to push hand-craft further. Society wants this, and is done with over consumption.
I could not imagine these past few years without knitting, crochet and embroidery. It is a basic need to my existence. To work with my hands.”
~ Michaela Buerger 2019