Fashion Week Daily
How Well Do You Know Michael Kors?
By Sydney Sadick | June 22, 2017
Michael Kors was the latest star of Alina Cho’s MET Museum fashion series, The Atelier with Alina Cho. Last night, their conversation shed light on the American fashion designer’s epic career, from his start in 1981 to judging Project Runway and beyond. Around 20 minutes into the conversation, the event took a turn when a bevy of anti-fur protestors stormed the stage and protested Kors’ use of fur in his designs, forcing Kors and Cho to exit the stage. When the protestors were removed, they eventually returned. “There’s never a dull moment,” Cho said. “It’s fashion,” Kors added. With fashion, indeed, you can expect the unexpected! Like pros, the duo carried on, unveiling details about Kors’ evolution of design that you might not remember, but certainly shouldn’t forget. So how well do you know the design king? Find out!
- He grew up in Long Island as is an only child.
- His mom is one of his first muses. “My mother, Joan, has been in some variation of skinny trousers and crewneck sweaters for over 50 years. Her hair has definitely shifted and changed over the years, but she was this constant companion and one of my first muses.”
- He grew up with a mezuzah on his door, a Hebrew tradition, but didn’t believe it actually had a scroll from the Torah in it. “I hid the mezuzah, told my mother I lost it and then took a screw driver and chiseled the back and saw there was paper inside.”
- Iman opened his first fashion show
- He helped Jackie Onasis in the Lothar’s dressing room. “I helped pull her boots off.”
- He takes off his sunglasses when he doesn’t want to be recognized. “That’s how people recognize me!”
- He dressed three mega celebrities at this year’s Tony Awards, including Bette Midler. “I have to say…besides that she’s such a great woman, she’s a great New Yorker. Every time you walk by an empty park that looks like a mess, you know Bette would come to the rescue.”
- He’s a “resort junkie.” I think anyone who lives an urban life, we love to escape and we love to escape to warm weather. For me that’s my fantasy. I last in the snow for 24 hours. I chase the sun, so you know, I’ll lie in the sun.”
- He has a print with his face in it. “I always say that I’m funny so my clothes don’t have to be funny, but if you look closely I’m in a print.”
- He’s coming out with a new fragrance. “Fragrances, for me, are so much fun and exciting to work on because it’s the fastest way to express your mood. Faster than accessories, faster than fashion, you can leave the house in the morning and by 5:00 that afternoon you say, “Oh I’m feeling different.”
- He wasn’t into Project Runway when he was first approached by Heidi Klum. “I said, ‘No way.’ I honestly didn’t think many people would watch. I thought a few people wanted to see Heidi and maybe some fashionistas in here. The show is still a global juggernaut.”
- He got married after thinking he never would. “We were watching television and the news came on about the change of the law and said, ‘Well, obviously we are going to get married!’”
- The wedding took place in Southampton. “We did it on the beach and had a friend as our witness. We jumped into the car and went to Sam’s in East Hampton for pizza and then saw The Help. It was the most genius day. I got home and ate caviar and wedding cake.”
- Michael Kors (the company) went public in 2011. “When I first started in fashion, American fashion was for America.We thought of things as very kind of segmented and boxed in. The real reality is if you’ve been doing something for a long time, if you can still stay curious and you can still see endless possibility, that’s the greatest thing for any human being, and certainly, to be able to do what you love and then to be up there.”