Michael Vollbracht, the renowned artist and fashion designer who designed the Third Street South logo, died in 2018. The logo, named Dorette after Dorette Fleischmann, who with her husband, Junkie, was responsible for the launch of Third Street South as we know it today, has the indelible grace of line that was Michael Vollbracht’s hallmark. Trained at Parsons School of Design, Vollbracht’s career started as a young illustrator whose work included the iconic Bloomindale’s shopping bag, and then fashion design with Geoffrey Beene, until Michael left to open his own fashion house backed by Joanna Carson, wife of Johnny Carson. Michael ultimately moved on and took over for Bill Blass after his death. Vollbracht’s client list included virtually every major Hollywood star and New York pillars of society. His book, Nothing Sacred, is full of his portraits of his clients and memories of them. It is a wonderful read.
Vollbracht was a friend of Joan Tobin, who for the last many years has overseen family interests on Third Street South. She and her husband, Maurice, introduced Vollbracht to Third, and she worked with him first to create the logo, and thereafter. His touch is visible in the Third Street South website which has his whimsical handwritten font and lettering. As recently as 2017, Michael visited Third Street South to partner with The Scout Guide Naples on a photo shoot in which Dorette was brought to life—he created the actual Third Street South dress worn by the model that day, and styled the shoot down to the last detail. Michael was a man of immense talent and expansive vision, whose genius and reputation in the fashion industry will endure, as will the logo he created for Third Street South, a lovely area that was lucky to have him as a friend.
Photos of the iconic Bloomingdale’s shopping bags and more images from his career are included in his New York Times obituary.