Vollbracht joined Henri Bendel in 1973 as their in-house illustrator for the New York Times. In 1975, he began working for Bloomingdale’s where he illustrated the store’s ads featured in The New York Times and Vogue. Vollbracht’s modernistic works became internationally known, but it was his signature illustration for a Bloomingdale’s bag that caused the biggest sensation.
In 1979 Vollbracht launched the Michael Vollbracht collection. The collection, known for its bold shapes and graphic prints, was sold across the country at boutiques and major department stores, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. In 1980, after just one year of business, Vollbracht received the prestigious Coty American Fashion Critics Award, Designer of the Year. Over the next five years, Vollbracht also designed Michael V swimwear for Sofere, Mike Vollbracht Sports and Vollbracht Too for Manhattan Industries, as well as bed linens for Burlington.
In 1985, Vollbracht wrote, illustrated and published, Nothing Sacred, now a collector’s item, a visual diary of his 25 years in New York City and the glamorous personalities he interacted with from the worlds of fashion, stage and screen. In that same year he closed the doors of his business to concentrate on his fashion illustrations and art. Vollbracht was selected in 1989 by The New Yorker as one of their top illustrators, producing collages and drawings for them for over half a decade.
From 1999 to 2002, Vollbracht, worked with Mr. Blass on Bill Blass: An American
Designer, and the retrospective exhibition of Blass’ career at Indiana
University’s art museum in Bloomfield, Indiana, which opened in October
Michael Vollbracht is a true Renaissance man: a fashion designer, a painter, an author and an illustrator. His illustrations are internationally known and his artwork is included in many private collections, among them former President Gerald Ford, Diane von Furstenberg and Elizabeth Taylor.