Saturday, June 25th
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"There's no point in design for design's sake. Evething I believe in is about getting women dressed."
In 1959 American luxury sportswear designer Michael Kors was born in Long Island, New York. Kors introduction to fashion came early on in life thanks to his family’s obsession; his mother was a former Revlon model, while his grandmother and grandfather frequently brought Kors along on their visits to Loehmann’s Back Room and fitting appointments at a local tailor. By five years old, he was advising his mother with the look of her wedding dress; advice she immediately took! At 12 years old, Kors, an early entrepreneur, had set up a little shop in his basement to create and sell his designs. Later on in high school Kors started his first official job within the fashion world by sketching jeans for a friend’s father in the industry. He would also design outfits for his friends to wear on the nights they snuck out to go to nightclubs like Studio 54.
In 1978, while attending FIT Kors started working at Lothar’s Boutique in New York City. Wanting to get right to work, he dropped out of FIT and soon after became Lothar’s in-house designer, all the while continuing on as a salesman and window dresser. In 1981, thanks to the success of his designs, Kors introduced his eponymous label, Michael Kors. His collection of casual yet luxurious garments was such a triumph that his designs were immediately sold in Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue. The early to mid-1990s saw the grunge movement taking over the fashion scene making it tricky for Kors to grow his label. By the late 1990s fashion trends switched their focus to a more feminine, elegant, simplicity allowing Kors to rise to the forefront of the fashion world yet again.
In 1997 Kors was appointed Creative Director for the French fashion house of Celine. He remained at Celine till 2003 and left to focus solely on expanding his own label; a venture that would continue throughout the next decade. By 2001 he had successfully unveiled new lines of handbags, footwear, eyewear and women’s and men’s fragrances. In 2002 he officially launched his menswear line, which included sweaters, tailored pants and pea coats. Two years later, in 2004 he introduced a new upscale yet reasonably priced line, MICHAEL Michael Kors, complete with accessories, swimwear, footwear and ready-to-wear apparel. That same year, Kors appeared onscreen as a judge on the new fashion competition show, Project Runway. In 2006 Kors began opening accessory only stores to go along with Michael Kors lifestyle stores in NYC, Beverly Hills, Chicago, London and Milan. To celebrate his 30th anniversary, in 2011, Kors opened stores in Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Toronto and his coup-de-grace a flagship store on Rue St.-Honore in Paris. With his use of neutral colors, tailored and elegant clothes it is no wonder celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Rachel McAdams, Heidi Klum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joan Allen and Jennifer Garner can’t get enough of Michael Kors.
As a child Kors loved and wore platforms, toe socks, leg warmers, cutoffs and satin shorts. While working at Lothar’s Boutique he helped Rudolf Nureyev buy jeans. Kors’ is an avid traveler and records his many travels on a travel diary at destinationkors.com. He was born Karl Anderson Jr. but changed his name to Michael David Kors after his mother married his stepfather. In 2009 First Lady Michelle Obama wore a Michael Kors gown for her first official portrait (she continues to wear Kors on a regular basis). Michael Kors has received numerous awards including but not limited to: the CFDA Women’s Fashion Designer of the Year (1999), the CFDA Men’s Fashion Designer of the Year (2003), the ACE Accessory Designer of the Year (2006) and the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award (2010).