INTERVIEW Michael Schmidt

Mister Extravaganza

Michael Schmidt uses metal and crystal to create show-stopping moments, but he’s equally happy making jewelry for his mom.

You can’t cast a spell without magic and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS are pure sorcery!

Photography Dennis Benson (portrait left) & Roman Krajewski

When Cher and Madonna need to make an impact they call on designer Michael Schmidt, a man who knows how to wow.
“I’m self-taught. I moved to New York in 1983 and made jewelry from repurposed artefacts”, he laughs. “I created a metal dress, which found its way into a SoHo store. One day Cher happened by and made inquiries. She repurposed my life!”

Schmidt and Cher’s collaboration attracted the attention of other divas, and now, alongside running his own nightclub, he creates costumes for the world’s top performers.
“Wardrobing is collaborative”, he explains. “A performer is a teller of tales – I help them inhabit a role and persuade audiences to lose themselves in the fantasy. You can’t cast a spell without magic, and Swarovski Elements are pure sorcery!”

Anyone looking for evidence of his skill need look no further than his achievements, including an Emmy nomination for costume work with Cher, and redesigns for the Palladium in NYC.
But away from the drama, Schmidt creates jewelry with everyday appeal and, despite thrilling celebrities worldwide, his favorite piece is “a small something I once made for my mother”. Some pieces, it seems, require a dash less drama.

Lauren Milligan writes for

Swarovski Crystals Magazine #01 - Everyday Extraordinary

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