McCluer Alumni: Michael Drummond, Fashion Designer

Helene Sayad


“These are some of the newest things I am working on. Simple silhouettes, things that are transitional and eternal. Adding layers to things that can be worn for years. I’m more of a classisist in that I don’t believe in fast fashion or turning around every six months and completely changing direction. I love knits, photographic imagery and graphics.  I love surrealism, subtle consciousness of thoughts and the simplicity of origami. I want to create a narrative that continues to build and not endlessly change.”


Scooter Helmet

“I drive a pale blue Vespa every day. While this is not an actual Vespa helmet (it’s more for something like a BMW motorcycle) I loved the color. My good friend and fellow designer, Laura Kathleen Baker strongly suggested I get one with a face shield, ‘To protect your pretty face’. (Side note, many of the people in fashion in this city have motorcycle or scooter; Laura does, Nina Ganci does, Bob Trump does, and I do – we should start a gang!) Anyway, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and I love to ride around the city.  It is what it is.  Wind and freedom. Also, the Vespa really forces you to dress up, you just can’t do ‘Sloppy’ on a Vespa.”



A linen Skif sweater designed by Nina Ganci, an AllSaints T-shirt, Joe’s Jeans, and United Nude shoes. “The sweater has so much meaning to me,” he says. “Nina has always been incredibly supportive, loving, and giving.”



“I love and have been collecting books on art and fashion for years. Some of my favorites include anything on Alexander McQueen—he was a genius, and I had the honor and pleasure of studying with his textile designer, Simon Unglass in San Francisco; Anne Deniau’s beautiful book of images from behind the scenes at McQueen’s shows, Love looks not with the Eyes; a fabulous out-of-print book on the style of Frida Kahlo; and anything about Cindy Sherman, particularly her Untitled Film Stills. I studied photography in college, and I love the element of storytelling, transformation, and role-playing in her work.”



“[Artist] Carrie [Becker] and I went to McCluer High School together, and we were totally the nerdy Gothic kids… This photograph, from her series Barbie Trashes Her Dreamhouse, makes me question what beauty is… It has a great sense of humor, which I think the art world needs. We all need humor. At the end of the day, if you can’t laugh, you don’t really have anything much to shake a stick at.”


Strawberry Pincushion

“It’s fun, functional, and makes me smile. One of my fellow contestants on Project Runway had one, and I took his and kept it—until I accidentally ran over it with my car.”


Jutta Neumann Leather Cross-Body Bag

“I’ve had this since I lived and worked in San Francisco. I love the leather and the simplicity of its design. I had to decide if I would eat or buy this bag. The bag won.”


Ikea Fur Seat Cover

“It’s comfy. I swear I’m morphing into my mother, though—she buys these for car seat covers.”


Knitting Machines

“I am a big believer in what you focus on expands—good or bad. In 2008, I was laid off from my job. I thought there was no time like the present to pursue what I loved, which was knitting. I put all of my focus into finding a knitwear machine, but they were way out of my budget. Two weeks later, a woman named Fran Ellison called me. We had never met. She was mutual friends with Bob Trump at Opera Theater of St. Louis, and she had reached out to him to see if he would be interested in buying her knitting machines. Bob knew me from my time working in the costume shop at OTSL, but had no idea that I was looking for a machine. Yet he’d suggested she reach out to me. It was completely serendipitous when she called and asked if I would take them off her hands. She declined any monetary offer, as well as an offer to donate to the charity of her choice. I was able to get off the ground and learn the importance of paying it forward.”


High School

“I graduated from McCluer High School in Ferguson in 1998. I am still amazed at how progressive and amazing my class was. I was out of the closet and in a class of 300—at a time when none of this was out in the open—I was voted “Prom King. I mean, I was gay and a nerd! I thought that was so cool. To this day, I don’t know how that happened. You should have seen the crown!”