Michael Penn, fashion designer, singer, writer and artist was reared in Boston. He apprenticed under German fashion designers, Gottfried Schmidt and Peter Rank, and opened an Haute Couture boutique in Frankfurt under the nom de plume C.Gordon, whose clothing line has been seen and sold in world fashion capitols such as New York, London, Tokyo, Munich, and Barcelona. Collection C. Gordon also took part in International Trevira shows produced by Hoechst GmBh and debuted in the 1990s in “Frankfurt Zieght ein,” an annual fashion show along the Ziel shopping district in downtown Frankfurt. He has been creating ever since. He is an entrepreneur and a man of many hats—quite literally; he’s a milliner, too (a person who makes women’s hats). He sold hats with Barney’s under the label of Susan Thompson. He has sold hats under a variety of labels on Newbury Street in one of the oldest businesses on that street called Toppers.
Michael graduated from the University of Maryland the European Division, the University of Massachusetts, and Cambridge College, where he obtained a Masters in Management and E-commerce. He holds a MME and several other letters. He attended Goethe Institute in Munich and has had all sorts of private lessons from French to Chinese taught by graduates of Vassar College. He has attended a wide variety of schools and has a diverse education and experience, because he loves to learning. He has been a certified linguist, reading and ESL teacher. He even served four years in the Armed Forces where most of his journeys began as an Intelligence analyst and linguist. The perpetual student is taking medical courses and studying towards his Doctoral degree; he is a firm believer that “the more you know, the less you know,” especially after his Masters degree.
As lead vocalist, Michael has performed solo and ensemble throughout Europe. An actor since high school, Michael has been on television, as well as in plays and movies; he longs to be a star, having been tutored by actress, Butterfly McQueen, and arranger, Ronald Jones. His first recording was with bassist, Peter Schneider, who played with Tina Turner’s ex-husband, Ike, and his last big gig was with bandleader, Russell Valdez, who played with Fleetwood Mac. Michael’s agent was Valerie Geiss of Munich, who procured Michael’s speaking role on Tat Ort (The Scene of the Crime) on German television, as well as on a few commercials. He even was a hand model after modeling for a Laganese Ice Cream ad.
Michael also is a poet and journals daily, hoping one day to publish them under the title All That and Nothing, but That’s Not What James Baldwin Would Say. Michael idolized author James Baldwin. Michael also loves photography and collected personal photos of Fenway Park and the city of Boston and many other tourist cities. As an artist, Michael’s first group exhibit was with artist Paul Goodnight and the late Therese India Young, a great spiritual artist, whom Michael deeply admired. They taught him to “throw it all out and let it go.” For over 20 years, he has been creating abstract works and scribbling in his journals, still taking art lessons; but for the most part, he continues to throw it all out and just paint or draws abstracts. He’s currently painting two works for a gallery in Stuart, Florida, where he hopes to fetch at least $50,000.00 for his works... wanna buy one?
Michael is a Buddhist by way of life and a Christian from religion with smorgasbord approach to all that is spiritual. A decade ago, he accomplished a four-week photographic study-tour of Thailand and prepared a guided tour—storyteller format—from an African-American perspective of Thailand. He loves temples and sacred places. Since his near-death experience, he believes his soul was saved in the thousand-year-old church in Trondheim, Norway.
Michael now lives both in Florida and in Boston.