Michael Kors

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Articles on Michael Kors

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Seeing beyond luxury pieces’ design might be unusual for some, but for true fashion fanatics, it’s a must. In fashion, we judge the book not by its covers, but its content, its history, its past owners, and how it came to be. Only then do we know better the value of the piece we are holding. So if you own a Michael Kors piece, you’re about to peek into its roots and hopefully, get a better appreciation of the brand.

A trail back to how Michael Kors reached success

Designer Michael Kors
Designer Michael Kors. Photo: Vogue

The brand would’ve gotten another name, if not for the re-marriage of then Karl Anderson’s mother to a man named Bill Kors. Given the freedom to change his name, he settled with Michael Kors, a name only cave people have not heard about nowadays.

After few experiences in modelling and acting during his younger years, Kors found his real passion in his dream to become a fashion designer.  He followed up such dream with concrete steps, enrolling at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and taking a leap of faith to leave school later on for a better opportunity: having his own designs for a boutique shop, Lothars.

From then on, fate has been good to Kors—he had a deal with Bergdof Goodman, then with other major luxury outlets such as Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue started selling his pieces. He continued designing, allowing him to have a catwalk show with his name on it. Further, he started having a Hollywood fanbase during early ‘90s, having Demi Moore, Julia Roberts, and Barbara Walters sport his designs. Although there was a dip afterwards when he had to declare bankruptcy, Kors resurfaced and continued his passion by being a fashion Director of Celine and starting a lower-priced line.

Sparking a fashion phenomenon: everyday luxury

Luna Bijl, Natasha Poly and Lena Hardt (left to right) walk the runway at the Michael Kors Fashion Show during New York Fashion Week at Spring Studio. Photo: Ovidiu Hrubaru
Luna Bijl, Natasha Poly and Lena Hardt (left to right) walk the runway at the Michael Kors Fashion Show during New York Fashion Week at Spring Studio. Photo: Ovidiu Hrubaru

What propelled Michael Kors to fashion stardom was a total deviation from the traditional luxury brands in the past. The ‘everyday luxury’ that the brand offered changed not only the course of destiny for the label, but the world of luxury fashion altogether. Suddenly, luxury isn’t so exclusive anymore—Michael Kors managed to democratize it and allowed more people, other than usual elites and privileged individuals, to have that experience of extravagance for a price they can pay.

With more people able to enjoy great and glamorous designs, pieces from the brand skyrocketed into fame, particularly its bags. Hitting that sweet spot of selling success, MK bags have been made into different shades, with fans completing even as many as 36 shades. Selfridges and Harvey Nichols know very well the demand of the label’s bags, with avid MK women speedily exhausting their stocks.

Company growth

After Kors became Céline’s creative director, its owner LMVH bought 33% of the Michael Kors brand stake. Menswear line was started by the brand, which let it earn the CFDA’s Menswear Designer of the Year award just after a year. A whopping 85% of the label’s stakes have been bought by Sportswear Holdings Limited afterwards, even buying out LMVH’s shares in the process.

By 2006, the label was confident enough to have its own ‘lifestyle’ retail stores, after venturing into the world of perfumes and handbags.  This was just a few years after Kors finally decided to leave his post in Céline to focus on his brand. That same year, too, he became part of the highly-famous Project Runway which aired for 10 seasons.

The company then launched a line called MICHAEL Michael Kors accessories and apparel, with collections immediately available in many stores in the United States. Michael Kors became just not all about bags anymore, its coveted pieces range from ready-to-wear, accessories, footwear, jeans, and even swimwear.

The growth of the company didn’t stop there. Just very recently, the Michael Kors Holdings closed a deal worth 1.2 billion dollars, making it the new owner of Jimmy Choo. Just the perfect follow-up to a series of expansion, venturing into new things, and letting the company reach more milestones.

Zooming into the details of how a brand reached its current success is truly a journey. For Michael Kors, it was a wonderful path of a man who never gave up on his dream, still working hard even after he became a billionaire and after his brand became one of the most famous labels in the international fashion scene. And this journey hasn’t ended yet—it’s still unfolding how far Michael Kors and his eponymous brand can reach.

Michael Kors boutique in Rome, Italy.
Michael Kors boutique in Rome, Italy. Photo: Emilio100

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