Like many things in life, Michelle’s journey with MISCHA has been a serendipitous one and not without a spark of madness. Her interest in fashion started at a very young age. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Michelle was particularly close to her grandmother, a skillful seamstress who ensured the women of the household were always impeccably dressed. This attention to detail and hands on approach was to become the basis of Michelle's artistic endeavours.
After gaining a degree in Biomedical Sciences at Kings College London, Michelle began a career in education. However, it was not long before her passion for travel, art and creative pursuits lead her in a new direction. In 2004 Michelle debuted her maiden collection of hand-stitched vintage Japanese obi clutches. They quickly gained a cult following and MISCHA was launched in 2008. In search for a way to make her mark, Michelle created The Travel Series in 2010, the first collection to feature the brand's signature hexagon print.
Michelle has featured in Forbes as “one of Asia’s handbag brands to have successfully gone global.” She has also been interviewed by Harper’s Bazaar, People Style Magazine and Cosmopolitan, among other notable magazines. Michelle has a long standing commitment to empowering women, expressed through her work with The Women’s Foundation and charities supporting girls education. Michelle was invited to be a speaker at TEDx Youth Hong Kong in 2013 and was featured in Star World TV’s Inspiring Women special for International Women’s Day in 2014.
“Through creating a contemporary classic brand, my goal is to inspire women to believe in themselves.
Founded in 2004 as a passion project, MISCHA embodies the personal style and sensibilities of its founder and creative director, Michelle Lai. Bridging the world of fashion and lifestyle, and inspired by the intrepid spirit of the women of today, MISCHA embraces both modern and classical perspectives in its design philosophy, centred around simple, timeless creations. The brand is best known for its iconic hexagon print tote bags and accessories, becoming a travel and style essential for the global citizen.