‘A lot of women, when they would like to maintain an excellent situation, wear an outfit. Everyone wears a dress,’ he says. ‘And suddenly, she’s inside a suit. And So I think there have been people watching saying, “Oh, do you know what, I could look feminine and powerful and se-xy at the same time – I could wear Michael Kors Australia Sydney.”‘ The suit out of stock overnight, globally. ‘Fifteen years ago, there were still distinct borders in fashion, and that’s all gone,’ he says, making reference to the impact of any social-media universe where many people are a fashion critic and likes on Instagram can be as important as shoots in glossy magazines. Fifteen yrs ago, remarkably, he was only opening his first store, in The Big Apple. He now has 509 stores worldwide, 13 of those in the united kingdom and Ireland, including a new Sloane Street branch inside london. Seven more will open here the new year, together with a Regent Street flagship during the early 2016.
Kors grew up in Merrick, Long Island, a suburban town outside The Big Apple. He was thinking about style from the beginning, he says, as well as five years old advised his mother, Joan – a former Revlon model – on her bridal dress for her second marriage, coaxing her clear of frills in favour of any more streamlined and flattering style. ‘Even in that age, I knew how the woman should wear the gown, not the other way round,’ he says. The many women within his family were a big influence in the introduction of this conceit. ‘It was slightly similar to a Fellini or even an Almodóvar film inside my family,’ he laughs. ‘I was flanked by these very strong women, and so they all had different fashion points of view. ‘My mum was very understated, while my grandmother was over-the-top and glamorous,’ he recalls. ‘I had one aunt who has been very bohemian, and the other aunt who has been a complete-on se-x-bomb [she apparently wore a bikini to his bar mitzvah]. And I saw that if people placed the right thing on, that they had a bit of a spring with their step.’
Like a teenager, he regularly ventured into the city, chilling out at Studio 54, which had been frequented through the fashion crowd for example the iconic Vogue editor Diana Vreeland and writers including Truman Capote. He began studying design at New York’s prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology, but dropped out before graduation to produce his own collection. Inside the cut-throat field of The Big Apple fashion, that can take some serious self-belief, I only say. ‘I was certain of myself. I knew what I liked and I outleydney the things i wanted,’ he nods. ‘At the same time frame I needed little idea about the mechanics of fashion, having said that i knew the level of things which I needed to create, and i also knew the sort of woman I needed to create for. I didn’t jump in scared about if it would work,’ he says. ‘When I play the game, I am aware I want to win.’
Fifteen in the past, there were distinct borders in fashion, and that’s all gone. His confidence paid off. At 22, his first collection was bought by New York’s most glamorous Michael Kors factory outlet Melbourne, Bergdorf Goodman, and championed by Anna Wintour, then fashion editor at New York magazine. His first catwalk show came three years later, and the man spent a long period as creative director with the French fashion house Céline before opening his first stand-alone store on New York’s Madison Avenue in 2000. He unveiled the diffusion and accessories line Michael Michael Kors in 2004 – the same year he joined the hit television show Project Runway as being a judge – and 2 years later launched a shop selling accessories and homeware. Today, even he seems to consider himself as being a brand – ‘That’s very Michael Kors,’ he says on several occasions.