I was born in Sydney Australia in the late 1950's. My parents are Holocaust
survivors; I was immersed in the creativity of my own parent's bridal
business "Henri Josef" from a young age. As young as I can remember. I
always felt I was born to do something great in my life, as my parents had
been denied so much.
My parents wanted to afford me all the things that were stolen from them as
children. Their efforts concentrated on survival, whilst cheating the death
camps of Europe. College education would be my privilege of liberty.
And so an education was a top priority. As was, dancing lessons, singing
lessons, guitar class, gymnastics and opera singing lessons. I was "deep
fried" with stimulus.
As a child, dinner conversations centered on lace, silk satin, tulle and
embroidery. I thought that was what all kids did at dinner. Talk about
design and business! My school vacations were spent at my parent's atelier,
consumed in patterns, fabric, sketching and draping. International buying
trips landed me at the fashion centers of the world including Paris, Rome,
London, Milan and New York. Design was a lifestyle. Fashion experience and
In 1972, I completed high school. I was accepted to study at The University
of Sydney, one of Australia's finest houses of learning. I do not think it
was ever a question that I would not go to University. In 1978 I graduated
with honors in political science.
In 1979, I decided that I wanted to join my parent's business. It was so
second nature to me. I formally entered "Henri Josef" as junior designer
alongside my mother, Aneta Weinreich. Four years later in 1984, whilst on a buying trip
in New York City, I was offered a position at the Australian Consulate. I
leapt at the opportunity, hungry to absorb and grow, joining an international milieu. It was something my parents not only supported, they
This was not your typical' Chicken soup and clutching" Jewish parents. They
wanted all of us (I have a Sister Lilian and Brother Henry who both now live
in New York) to achieve greatness.
After 5 years of diplomatic service in New York City, two things were
I feel in love with The City and I decided to return to my first love,
I knew that I could source from generations of knowledge and experience that
span three generations. In the 1900's Malka Sofa Schreiber, my paternal
great grandmother from whom I am named, ran a bridal charity organization in
Poland. My maternal grandfather Samuel Baral built a thriving upscale
furrier import/export business in Krakow, Poland during the 1920's. My
maternal grandmother, Franka Baral, ran her own major textile company in
Australia after the war.
In 1992, I opened for business from my own small apartment. Dresses took
most of the available space. I sold my parents collection, importing them
directly from Australia. Then, in 1993, I moved to a small downtown space in
the Bridal Building. I named my business," Michelle of Australia". I remember my
first day of business was in the middle of a blizzard. My small show room
was buzzing! I was surprised and overwhelmed by the response. The
sensitivity to color and the revolutionary use of silk satin won me attention. My pedantic attention to
detail, and highly personalized service won me business.
In 1996 catapulted by the momentum of success of my studio I opened my
European style multilevel loft salon on 57th street. I felt as If had come
home. Featuring my own custom work, The Salon was called Michelle Bridal. Later to
be renamed Michelle Roth, after I was married.
In 1997 my brother Henry joined me to help spearhead operations.
I have been gifted with a drive that comes deep within. Partly fueled by the
fear of failure and partly by the pride I have for my cultural heritage and
the dedication my parents have given me.
My mother Aneta repeats a phrase that rings often in my ears" whatever the
mind can perceive can be achieved".
My father Joseph has the disposition of an angel. He is often quoted as
saying' If I could live through the war, then every day after that can only
With that in mind I have been privileged to be featured on many coveted and respected national shows across the country and around the world
including Martha Stewart Living, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Entertainment
Tonight, The View and receive editorial features in Vogue, In Style, Town
and Country, Elle and Glamour to mention a few.
The year 2000 was when I decided to launch my collection nationally.
The response has been phenomenal. My evening collection is planned for a
spring 2003 launch, with expansion into Europe and Japan, by the fall of
Product extensions in beauty, book launching and a ready to wear collection
are in the works.
I believe whatever you do in life, do it with passion and conviction. We are
all-unique and bring to this world one precious gift. The gift of individuality and self.