After many years working in-house at fashion companies including Banana Republic and Victoria's Secret PINK, I wanted to dive deeper into designing my own prints. So in January 2015 I launched Micaela Zahner Design by exhibiting at the Premiere Vision New York trade show, followed by the PRINTSOURCE and Surtex shows. From then on I was hooked! I love being able to work with so many different types of companies, large and small. I design seasonal collections of original prints, selling mostly to the activewear market, and I also welcome collaborations.
I grew up in a tiny town in Vermont, surrounded by a lot of trees, a strong sense of community, and a lot of outdoor recreation. I had always been into arts and crafts but didn't know how to apply that - until I learned about textile design. That was it, that was me! So I moved to New York City and earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textile and Surface Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. I've been here more than 10 years, live in Brooklyn, and absolutely love CrossFit. I'm grateful for how cool it is that I get to work in an industry that's so in line with my love for fitness.
Innovation is all about mixing and matching different ideas. When I sit down to design, I have a sense of where I'm starting but never know where I'll end up. I might paint or draw a geometric pattern and then digitally change the colors or combine it with a photograph I took - and with each step of the way the print takes on a whole new life. It's like a science experiment or walking through a labyrinth, "What will happen if I do this, turn here, add that?" It's such an exciting process and even things that feel like a mistake are often doorways to a new way of thinking - and seeing.