Michael Cunningham graduated from Kent State University in 1998. Michael is a proud graduate of The Fashion School. During his time at Kent he worked at the museum. While at Kent he had the rare opportunity to study under the late Charles Kleibacker. In the summer of 1998, Michael interned at Halston which was under the design direction of Randolph Duke. It was at this time that Michael fell into knitwear spending the summer in the knitwear department.
After his internship Michael returned to NYC without looking back and spent the next 6 months freelancing at a design presentation company. Michael began working at Joan Vass USA in early 1999. While working at Joan Vass USA, Michael served as design assistant/product coordinator overseeing all phases of design. He left Joan Vass USA in the summer of 2003 to become Associate designer for a leisure casual life style brand called Sanct-U-Wear. During this time the parent company of Sanct-U-Wear acquired the name of Joan Vass. Starting in 2005 he returned to the label of Joan Vass.
Today, Michael oversees the development of the Joan Vass collection from concept to final product and everything in between. Michael is always mindful of the aesthetic of Ms. Vass while creating the modern Vass woman. Michael is also responsible for creating special Joan Vass pieces for Neiman Marcus and continually grows the business year after year. Michael is also an active member of The Fashion School’s Advisory Board. Michael also works to coordinate the Fashion School’s alumni the NYC area and hosts an alumni panels for students at The Studio in NYC.