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Michael Benjamin Volkar

rom small town to the big city, Michael Benjamin Volkar makes his mark on the fashion world with a unique design style that defies convention.
The creative Michael Benjamin Volkar grew up in a very small town called Johnstown in Pennsylvania. Growing up surrounded by Amish country, Michael states that we grew up by 'the woods'. Although the land was beautiful and scenic, the style of the Amish (whether of Amish religion or not) generally distances itself from the American general population of a modern and fast-paced lifestyle. Although, living around the Amish, Michael managed to somehow become a distinguished broad-based designer. "I remember about a year before I left Johnstown was when we got our fist 'Hollister'…that was the highest end fashion store in my town."

Me on the other hand, experimented with my own personal fashion and style truly around age 13, the same age I came out. No one else was out in my school at the time…only the 13 year old me. So on top of that, I also dressed differently. I’d try new styles, and colors and started creating my own t-shirts and jeans. Ripped jeans were HUGE at the time, and everyone was ordering from the expensive, 200 dollar destroyed and bleached jeans….instead, I went to a thrift store, bought some old pair of worn jeans and went home….and hand-slashed, bleached and designed pairs. I wore them to school and I swear within one day I had every single girl in my school asking to pay me to do that to their jeans. None of the guys asked me…

In light of the bullying in the news lately, it reminds me how much I was bullied in school for being different. When I see the news of another gay teen killing themselves….all I think is, “wow…..I actually made it out alive”. To the ones struggling, believe me….I came so close too. But I did what I recommend to all artists, whether fashion designers or not….if you are in a small town, or just small minded neighborhood, get out. Do everything in your power to leave to a big city. I drove 2,600 miles to get to Los Angeles….and I will NEVER drive 2,600 miles to go back to what I used to call home. For Los Angeles is my home now.
To me, fashion is artwork. And my designs can turn a person into a walking art gallery…for all who pass by to be awestruck and inspired as well
– Michael Volkar, Designer
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