Michelle Collins-Windle is one of the newest names in the fashion industry thanks to her iconic designs that are making waves on runways around the country. Most recently, she turned heads during the COVID-19 pandemic when she answered the call and debuted her new line of designer face masks. Now, she’s busier than ever but thankfully carved out some time to sit down with us for this Sheen Magazine exclusive.

Who is Michelle Collins-Windle?

 I am a wife, mother, woman of God, designer, and a visionary with a heart of gold. I am a humble being who loves to see others succeed. I am mellow but I am also a go-getter.

What is the art of fashion?  

The art of fashion is when one is allowed to create. It is a design put into motion. It is pure art that allows your creative juices to flow.

What inspired you to keep pursuing your dream despite so many challenges?

God and the wise words my momma used to say to uplift me when I was discouraged, “Keep doing what you’re doing, Chelle.”

Will you share a few of your accomplishments with us?

My designs were featured in the 2017 New York Fashion Week. I was also recognized as a designer by Bravo’s Project Runway and that led to even bigger opportunities. I designed for Dorian, the jewelry designer for the Black Panther film. I also designed for gospel legend Beverly Crawford.  

I was named FTM Fashion Week Designer of the Year in 2019-2020. I appeared in Voyage Dallas Magazine and I recently went global with my designer face masks. I’ve designed masks for supermodel and star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta Cynthia Bailey, ESPN host Mike Hill, jewelry designer Dorian of Marvel’s Black Panther blockbuster, local designers, news anchors in Jacksonville, North Carolina and anchors at WSAV 3 News in Savannah, Georgia.

My designs have appeared in major publications like Sewn, Farbe, South Adventure, and the summer issue of Travel. I’ve also instructed children at the local Summer Camp on how to sew and design their own face masks. I received an invite to the 2021 Maverick NBA Halftime Fashion Show in Texas and I’m now being featured in Sheen Magazine. God has truly been good to me.

How do you define success?

When I become successful, I will say that my truth is to remain humble, stay grounded, never forget where I came from, and always reach back to bring someone else along with me. And, by all means, to keep God in the midst of it. That is my truth to success.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to mirror your success?

Pray, never quit, get a good support system, stay in the know, and practice, practice, practice.

Tell us about your recent experience at your fashion show in Jacksonville.

I won Designer of the Year! I met model and actress Cynthia Bailey and Gio Delavicci of John Wick III.  POWER and anchorwoman Val Wilson and her daughter walked the runway in MCW Original designs. I made the cover of their page!

What sense of purpose have you drawn from your culture or community?

That we all have a purpose and that we want to make a difference for our culture, to give back to the community and volunteer where needed. Whenever I’m needed at the Board of Elections, I am there. Everyone, please vote.

You were recently showcased on the news for creating face masks for your community. What was that experience like?

It was such a wonderful experience. I’m still amazed by it. I engaged with a couple of groups and my masks went global. The experience of being on the news gave me even more business and it was completely over the top. It was overwhelming and I truly enjoyed my 15 seconds of fame!

All images by Darius Newsome