The former Milly designer was previously married to the brand's co-founder Andrew Oshrin and now identifies as pansexual

By Kaitlyn Frey
December 09, 2020 03:45 PM
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Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

Former Milly fashion designer Michelle Smith is getting candid about her life, career and sexuality in a new interview with Tamron Hall.

Smith, who dressed the likes of Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez before quietly stepping away from her brand in 2019, opened up about her relationship with SoulCycle instructor Stacey Griffith and coming out as pansexual during an appearance on the Tamron Hall Show.

“I'd always had a very, you know, traditionally heterosexual life and up until that point, I never felt attractions to a woman before. This is my first time but now my life is very different," said Smith, who separated from husband Andrew Oshrin in 2017, with whom she built the Milly brand.

Now, Smith says the way she perceives "people and love is very different." She continued: "I identify as pansexual. I waited for a while, I took some time to be sure that this was the right relationship."

Her relationship with Griffith, which went Instagram official last fall, is "not anything I expected," the designer said.

“We did fall in love. She's amazing," Smith told Hall over a video call. "It just happened. I wasn't seeing her for her gender. I saw her for her energy, and her beautiful light and it felt very natural."

Michelle Smith and Stacey Griffith
| Credit: Bruce Glikas/Getty

Smith said she waited for the right moment to tell her children and introduce them to Griffith, and their reaction was supportive.

"I didn't want to rock their boat. So, I took some time to be sure that it was the right moment. And when I told them, they had questions. And they too were a bit surprised. But, they're also very accepting, you know, my children, children of their age, are of a new generation," she said.

After her split from Oshrin in 2017, Smith continued to work at Milly before she officially left the company last year.

“It became very difficult. It was stressful," she admitted. "To work with the person that you're separated from. It was a pressure cooker. Very dysfunctional by the end."

Now Smith is embarking on a passion project — a new eponymous direct-to-consumer fashion line — which she describes as a "clean slate." The new brand features a more mature take on office dressing from the punchy, colorful designs she was known for at Milly.

She called forging her new path in the fashion world "a very strong, empowering feeling."

In a recent profile in The New York Times, Smith said she finally feels like she's come into her own.

"Going through everything I’ve been through, going from a young woman to an adult in my late 40s, I have found my own voice and my confidence to freely express myself in my personal life and my creativity," she said. "For the first time, everything has aligned and it feels amazing and true.”