How does one become the Creative Director for a preeminent American sportswear line? We could argue that the eye it takes to sit at the head of the Perry Ellis helm isn't so much developed as it is innate. At least, this is certainly the case for our newly appointed Creative Director, Michael Maccari. 

"Inspiration comes from everything around us," Maccari said. "I often tell young designers and design students that you have to love fashion and more importantly love design in general, and see it everywhere in everything you do. This is not a 9-to-5 job, but a way of looking at life."

Maccari, who was born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, honed his skills at the Fashion Institute of Technology and further still at some top design houses before taking the reins with his latest venture. 

"As a small child, I'd play with my sister and create looks for her male and female dolls out of napkins and tissues - a first sign that I could work within guidelines and think outside the box for creative solutions," Maccari said. 

Bred for fashion
At age 10, Maccari had his first custom-made suit - a navy blue, three-piece ensemble, a look he still favors to this day. The young style maven had plenty of inspiration growing up in a household of family members who loved to sew, knit and crochet, as well as a grandfather with whom he would accompany to Manhattan's lower east side to pick out fabric for custom-made suits. 

As he grew older, Maccari's interests stayed within the creative realm, focusing on art, music and advertising in school. While in college, Maccari was introduced to Perry Ellis through a family friend, Judy Beste, a merchandising partner for the brand. 

"Arguably this was my first intro to menswear, and I knew there was something different and special about those clothes, although at the time I could not articulate what it was that made them unique to me," Maccari said. "I can remember her stories about fabric selection in Europe and Perry's impeccable taste level."

Mastering the world of style
Maccari turned his eye toward menswear upon hearing about the FIT program. The idea of specializing in clothing for men was a defining moment for Maccari, spurring him to hastily put together a successful portfolio consisting of his sketches of stylish people on the street, ripped from various notebooks and folders he'd used as art pads. 

"To this day, I'm famous for napkin and post-it sketches," Maccari said. 

What does the future hold for Maccari? We can't wait to find out.