Praise for Michael Kors (02:30)
Highlights from Michael Kors fashion shows are interspersed with celebrity praise. Admirers describe Kors's style as easy and modern with an upscale clientele.
Road to Recognition (01:37)
Michael Kors's "fashion moment" has been twenty years and thousands of sketches in the making. In the eyes of many, Kors has become the poster boy for American style.
Kors's Unique Disposition & Pragmatism (01:06)
Kors's optimistic and accessible personality is at odds with the designer stereotype. He resists trends and keeps in mind the importance of sales. His sensibility has hardly changed in 20 years of designing.
Kors's Pillars of Style (02:39)
Michael Kors explains his guiding design principles: wearer friendliness, luxury, simplicity, and timelessness.
History & Evolution of American Sportswear (01:52)
American sportswear has always relied on simplicity and user-friendliness in its response to European fashion. It arose during World War II, when European imports were limited and domestic trends followed comfort and ease.
1990s Parallel Success of Sportswear & Michael Kors (01:29)
The global appetite for American sportswear increased in the 1990s, when Kors was hired as creative director at Celine. He won an award and partnered with LVMH in 1999. Kors attributes his success to a consistent point of view, a loyal following, and timing.
Childhood & Earliest Fashion Influences (03:41)
Michael Kors was born Karl Anderson in Long Island, NY in 1959. At age 5, he appointed himself the stylist of his mother's wedding. He had a happy and loving childhood, infused with the style sensibilities of his casual mother and glamours grandmother.
Young Performing Career & Attraction to Fashion (01:39)
As a child, Kors did commercials and print ads. He eventually gravitated towards fashion but claims fashion is, in a sense, show business. At age 14, he decided to be a designer.
On-the-Job Education & Breakout Moment (02:10)
Kors attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and began designing pieces for Lothar's. Bergdorf Goodman's president discovered him dressing a Lothar's window and invited him to design for Bergdorf Goodman.
Kors's Own Label & Early Career (02:42)
Anna Wintour remembers Kors's first collection as being identifiable as the same Michael Kors designing today. In 1981, Kors launched his own label, setting strict rules for himself. In the 1990s, his career rose and fell with the general national attitude toward fashion.
Kors's Customer (00:42)
By the mid-1990s, Michael Kors's business bounced back, and his relationship with his New York socialite clientele was evident in his work. His style reflected "racy wit and well-groomed wealth."
Straying From & Returning to His Vision (01:58)
Reactions to Kors's Fall 2000 collection of Park Avenue Princess clothes were mixed. The designs were over-the-top and slightly out of character. He keeps his client in mind and finds inspiration in women who constantly want something new.
Design & Marketing Formula (02:28)
Kors reviews handbag samples. Though he doesn't design the bags, he has the final say. His design formula relies on the intimate knowledge of his client, which he acquires through firsthand "market research."
Kors & Other Foreign Designers in Paris (02:12)
Kors travels to Paris to work at Celine, where LVMH mogul Bernard Arnault originally hired him in a wave of importing designers to revive the French fashion scene.
Partnership with Celine in France (02:56)
Working at Celine in Paris helped broaden Michael Kors's horizons. He appreciates the indulgence and whimsy of the French customer and responds to criticism about his alleged lack of understanding of French luxury by citing the store's financial success.
Boutique Opening & Loyal Socialite Clientele (02:10)
Michael Kors attends the opening of London's first Celine boutique, whose guests include New York socialite fans. Critics ascribe Kors's success, in part, to his relationship with his customers, who then promote his work through word of mouth.
Engagement with Retailers (03:05)
Michael Kors conducts a clinic at London's Harrods department store on how to sell his fragrance and examines his in-store boutique at Harvey Nichols. In this way, he keeps a connection to the people working with his product on a daily basis.
Press Interviews & Nordstrom Benefit (03:41)
Kors attends a benefit hosted by Nordstrom in Seattle, stopping to do local media interviews. He supervises hair and makeup before the fashion show and greets the patrons, who take notes on items they want to purchase.
Trunk Show & Customer Relationships (02:32)
Kors attends the trunk show at Nordstrom in Seattle, where his customers shop and receive personal consultations. Kors's rare willingness and desire to interact with his customers is considered a unique asset.
Universal Taste of a Kors Customer (01:32)
Kors comments on the similarities in his clientele across geographic boundaries. He attributes this to modern dissemination of fashion information. Kors vacations and then repeats his cycle of worldwide travel and work.
Kors's Reflections on Career Success (01:42)
Kors reflects on the timeliness of his success and the necessity of sustainability in the life and career of a designer. To him, fashion may be overwhelming, but it's always exciting.
Credits: Michael Kors: Masters of Style (00:60)
Credits: Michael Kors: Masters of Style
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