Michael Emmanuel innocently began in New York City in the early 1980’s when he paid a visit to a friend who was a fashion designer and a runway model. Michael watched in utter amazement as his friend finished sewing a fierce garment in what seemed like record time. Sensing Michael’s curiosity, his friend trained him on the basics of using a sewing machine, utilizing different fabrics, and creating breath-taking designs. Before long, Michael developed his own unparalleled and phenomenal vision, and his interest for fashion, creativity, and style quickly developed and came to life.
As expected, the word would quickly get out on the designer who had the ability to take the world by storm. In 1983 he was introduced to the National Black Theater in Harlem where he would became the costume designer for several off-Broadway plays such as “The Legacy” (which aired on CBS), “Mamma’s Little Boys,” “The Fruits of Miss Morning,” “The Song of Sheba,” “Beyond the Call of Duty,” and “The Crescent Tail’s,” the latter of which he would be nominated for an Audelco Award For Best Costume Designer in an Off-Broadway Play. His dedication and passion to his craft would also catch the eye of world-renowned costume designer Judy Dearing, who quickly took him under her wing as her personal assistant for the play, “Return of the Ben-to (An African Heritage Story).”