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our story

Michael Stars was founded by Michael Cohen and Suzanne Lerner in 1986.

Hailing from Cape Town, a young Michael Cohen began his career in the clothing industry by establishing an agency that distributed London-based fashion lines.

Dismayed by the state of his country, he had an opportunity to leave apartheid South Africa in the late ‘70s and came to America.

Ten years after arriving in the US, he walked into the showroom of Suzanne Lerner, a natural-born entrepreneur in the apparel industry. It was this first meeting that ignited both their business and future marriage.

In the late '80s, inspired by the graphic designs of a local artist, the Michael Stars label was born. 

Thank you for supporting our women-led & owned company!

When I co-founded the brand with my husband, Michael, in 1986 I never knew how it would evolve into something so purpose-driven and how much impact we would have as a result. Michael Stars began with that iconic one-sized tee and now focuses on so much more.

Through our Michael Stars Foundation we’ve focused on equality, and have been supporting grassroots organizations for over 15 years. We also continue to produce the majority of our garments locally here in LA to ensure quality production and fair wages for those making your clothes.

I love hearing from our customers, nothing puts a smile on my face like the stories from women all over the country about their first Michael Stars tee.

If you have a question, comment, or a Michael Stars memory of your own, please send it my way! Hello (at)

Co-Founder & President

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Back in 1986, Michael Stars co-founders, Michael Cohen and Suzanne Lerner, set out to create effortless, enduring fashion to go with people wherever they went in life.
Over the last three decades our clothing has helped create connections and memories for people that spans generations.


We take a mindful approach to our sourcing, manufacturing, and design. We use sustainable fabrics whenever possible and over 85% of our garments are made in our hometown of Los Angeles to ensure the quality of product and the reduction of our carbon footprint. We're proud to say that an average Michael Stars tee lasts for years… keeping them in closets instead of landfills.


Michael Stars fosters a sense of community and collaboration for all. We are a diverse company employing over 80% women. We manufacture the majority of our apparel in Los Angeles to ensure those making our garments – primarily women – have access to fair wages and working conditions.


We value fairness, diversity, and inclusivity here. For over 15 years, the Michael Stars Foundation has given millions of dollars to grassroots organizations that support gender & racial equality, work to end gender-based violence, provide mentorship for the marginalized, and advocate for women of color.