Michael Kors

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Michael Kors
Michael Kors, Photographed by Ed Kavishe for Fashion Wire Press.jpg
Karl Anderson Jr.

(1959-08-09) August 9, 1959 (age 62)
Long Island, New York, U.S.
EducationFashion Institute of Technology
OccupationFashion designer
Lance Le Pere
(m. 2011)
Awards1999 CFDA award for womenswear designer of the year 2003 CFDA award for menswear designer of the year

Michael David Kors (born Karl Anderson Jr.; August 9, 1959[2]) is an American fashion designer. He is the honorary chairman and chief creative officer of his brand,[3] Michael Kors, which sells men's and women's ready-to-wear, accessories, watches, jewellery, footwear, and fragrance. Kors was the first women's ready-to-wear designer for the French house Celine, from 1997 to 2003.[4] On January 2, 2019, Michael Kors Holdings Limited officially changed its name to Capri Holdings Limited (NYSE: CPRI).[5] Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, and Versace are the three founder-led brands under Capri Holdings Limited.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Kors was born as Karl Anderson Jr.[7] in Long Island, New York. His mother is Jewish; his father was of Swedish descent.[7][8][9][10] His parents are Joan Hamburger, a former model, and her first husband, Karl Anderson Sr.[11][12][13] His mother married Bill Kors, when her son was five, and his surname was changed to Kors. His mother told Karl that he could choose a new first name as well and he renamed himself Michael David Kors.[13] He grew up in Merrick, New York and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore, New York, on Long Island.[14]

Kors married his partner, Lance Le Pere, on August 16, 2011, in Southampton, New York, in The Hamptons.[1][15][16]


Kors' affinity for fashion started when he was very young. His mother thought his affinity might have been caused in part by his exposure to the apparel industry through her modeling career.[17] Michael, at the age of five, even redesigned his mother's wedding dress for her second marriage.[18] As a teen, Kors began designing clothes and selling them out of his parents' basement, which he renamed the Iron Butterfly.[17] Kors also took acting lessons when he was young, but stopped when he was 14 when he decided to focus on becoming a fashion designer.[19]

In 1977, he enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.[20] However, he dropped out after only nine months and took a job at a boutique called Lothar's across from Bergdorf Goodman on 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan, where he started as a salesperson and went on to become both the designer and visual display head for the store. Shortly after, Dawn Mello, the fashion director at Bergdorf's, discovered Kors. She asked if he would show his collection to Bergdorf Goodman's buyers.[21]

In 1981, Kors launched his Michael Kors women's label at Bergdorf Goodman. In 1990, the company launched KORS Michael Kors as a licensee. A Chapter 11 filing in 1993, caused by the closure of the licensing partner for KORS Michael Kors, forced him to put the KORS line on hold. He got back on his feet by 1997 and launched a lower priced line and at the same time was named the first women's ready-to-wear designer for French house Celine.[22] In his tenure at Celine, Kors turned the fashion house around with successful accessories and a critically acclaimed ready-to-wear line. Kors left Celine in October 2003 to concentrate on his own brand. Kors launched his menswear line in 2002.

Michelle Obama's first term official portrait showing her wearing a dress designed by Kors

The MICHAEL Michael Kors line was launched in 2004, joining the original Michael Kors Collection label. The MICHAEL Michael Kors line includes women's handbags and shoes as well as women's ready-to-wear apparel. As of the end of the first fiscal quarter in 2016, Kors has over 770 Lifestyle stores around the world. Currently, Kors has Collection boutiques in New York, Beverly Hills, Palm Beach, Chicago, and Southampton. In the U.S, his women's runway collection, labeled Michael Kors Collection, is sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, and numerous specialty stores. Michael Kors Collection is also carried at the brand's stores in London, Paris, Cannes, Milan, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Seoul. The year 2016 marked the 35th anniversary of Kors' business.

A Michael Kors dress
A dress by Michael Kors, 2010

Among the celebrities who have dressed in Kors' designs are Nicole Kidman, Tiffany Haddish, Reese Witherspoon, Lupita Nyong'o, Olivia Wilde, Dakota Johnson, Blake Lively, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Lawrence, Taylor Swift, Kate Middleton, Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Melania Trump, Heidi Klum, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Michelle Obama wore a black sleeveless dress from the designer for her first term official portrait as First Lady and later sported Kors again at the 2015 State of the Union address.[23] Viola Davis wore a custom Michael Kors Collection gown when accepting a Golden Globe for best supporting actress in a motion picture for her role in Fences. Kate Hudson and Olivia Wilde both wore gowns by the designer to the 2016 Golden Globes, and Emily Blunt, nominated for her role in Into The Woods, wore a white custom gown by the designer in 2015. Joan Allen wore his gown when she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in The Contender. As creative director of Celine, Kors designed many outfits for actresses to wear on screen, including Gwyneth Paltrow in Possession;[24] and Rene Russo in The Thomas Crown Affair.[25] One of his gowns was worn by Alicia Keys for her performance at Barack Obama's inaugural ball on January 21, 2013.[26]

The ad campaigns for Kors often reflect the jet-set lifestyle that his fans know and love. Michael Kors Collection campaigns have most recently been shot by photographers Inez and Vinoodh,[27] and prior to that, Mario Testino. Previous campaigns include the model Carmen Kass on a safari in Africa and relaxing on a yacht. More recent campaigns feature models Ugbad Abdi, Rianne Van Rompaey and Binx Walton living the jet-set lifestyle.[28] The latest MICHAEL Michael Kors campaigns capture jet-setter Bella Hadid on various adventures: visiting New Orleans for her first time ever, staging a summer shoot on a deserted island and headlining the MK81 band.[29][30][31] For Spring 2021, the campaign draws inspiration from Diana Vreeland's famous line, "the eye has to travel," and invites fans to change their perspective and rediscover New York City through the daydreams of Bella Hadid.[32]

Kors was a judge on the Emmy-nominated reality television program Project Runway, which aired on Bravo for five seasons; subsequent seasons aired on Lifetime. On December 18, 2012, it was announced that Kors would be leaving Project Runway, to be replaced by fellow designer Zac Posen.[33] Kors returned to Project Runway in 2016 as a guest judge on the season 15 finale.[34]

In January 2014, Forbes reported that Kors reached a personal fortune in excess of $1 billion. Michael Kors Holdings had already "minted two billionaires": Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll.[35]

Other honors[edit]

Kors at the conclusion of his Spring/Summer 2014 show at New York Fashion Week, September 2013
  • 2016: The World Food Program USA honored Kors with the McGovern-Dole Leadership award, presented by Vice President Joe Biden.
  • 2015: Named a Global Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme.
  • 2015: God's Love We Deliver dedicated the Michael Kors Building at the non-profit's new SoHo headquarters in honor of Kors' ongoing support.
  • 2013: Selected for The Time 100, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. He also made the New York Observer's list of the 100 Most Influential New Yorkers, under the fashion category, and was named to Out magazine's 2014 Power 50 List.
  • 2013: Honored with the 2013 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion by The Couture Council of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • 2013: Kors presented Hillary Rodham Clinton with the first-ever Michael Kors Award for Outstanding Community service.
  • 2012: Honored with the Golden Heart Lifetime Achievement Award by God's Love We Deliver, a non-profit organization that distributes fresh meals to people living with HIV/AIDS and other diagnoses, which he has been involved with for over 20 years.
  • 2010: Received the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research, an annual honor bestowed by the Cancer Research Institute, a U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing immune system-based treatments for cancer.
  • 2010: Kors was the youngest recipient ever of the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and received the Fragrance Foundation's FiFi Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Legal issues[edit]

In January 2009, the estate of the artist-designer Tony Duquette sued Kors for trademark infringement after Kors allegedly used Duquette's name and images in promoting Kors' 2009 resortwear collection.[36]

In July 2013, he became the second luxury brand, after Tiffany & Co, to sue Costco for falsely claiming in advertisements that they sold his product.[37][38]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Kors was referenced in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada by Meryl Streep's character, Miranda Priestly. In the scene, Priestly sweeps into her office and gives a list of instructions to her personal assistant (Emily Blunt). Priestly says, "RSVP 'yes' to Michael Kors' party and I want the driver to drop me off at 9:30 and pick me up at 9:45 sharp."[39]
  • Nicki Minaj mentions Kors in Big Sean's song "Dance"
  • Drake mentions Michael Kors in his song "From Time"
  • Pusha T in his song "Numbers on the Boards"
  • Kors guest starred as himself in a Fashion Week themed episode of the hit teen show Gossip Girl; show repeatedly showcases several pieces from his collections.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lee, Joyce (August 17, 2011). "Designer Michael Kors marries longtime partner". CBS News. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  2. ^ "Kors' show a knockout Opulence, glitz dominate wardrobes". Daily News. New York. February 10, 2000. Archived from the original on November 9, 2007.
  3. ^ Clark, Evan (March 29, 2019). "Michael Kors Steps Back From Capri Board". WWD. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  4. ^ "The Michael Kors story". styl.sh. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  5. ^ Newbold, Alice (January 2, 2019). "Michael Kors Holdings Ltd Begins 2019 As Capri Holdings". British Vogue. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  6. ^ "Capri Completes Acquisition of Versace, Changes Name from Michael Kors (KORS)". StreetInsider.com. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  7. ^ a b H.W. Wilson Company (1986). Current Biography. H. W. Wilson Co. p. 360.
  8. ^ Rappaport, Jill (November 2007). Mazel Tov: Celebrities' Bar and Bat Mitzvah Memories. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-8787-6.
  9. ^ Andreoli, Richard (February 1, 2005). "Working the runway: out designer Michael Kors tells it like it is to would-be fashionistas on Bravo's Project Runway". The Advocate. Archived from the original on November 9, 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2007.
  10. ^ "Michael Kors". Interview Magazine. August 20, 2011.
  11. ^ Harper's Bazaar: "Michael Kors: American Idol" By Elisa Lipsky-Karasz Archived April 13, 2014, at the Wayback Machine June 29, 2011
  12. ^ [1] Archived May 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b People Magazine: "With His Hot New Line, Michael Kors Grabs the Fashion Ladder's Top Rung and kisses his wife." By Elizabeth Sporkin April 8, 1991
  14. ^ "Fashion Designer Michael Kors Talks Jewish Mothers, His Bar Mitzvah". Algemeiner.com. Retrieved February 21, 2021. Kors, born Karl Anderson, Jr., in Long Island, New York, is the son of Karl Anderson and Joan Kors (née Hamburger), a Jewish model, whose work exposed him to fashion at a young age. His mother later remarried Bill Kors and the five-year-old's surname was changed to Kors. At the time, his mother also told him that he could choose a new first name, changing his name formally to Michael David Kors.
  15. ^ Rathe, Adam (August 18, 2011). "Michael Kors marries longtime boyfriend Lance Le Pere in barefoot Southampton beach ceremony". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on July 15, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  16. ^ "Designer Michael Kors to marry long-time boyfriend". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. August 5, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Michael Kors". Vogue. Archived from the original on December 27, 2012.
  18. ^ Lafaille, Rena (June 2, 2011). "Seven Surprising Facts About Michael Kors". ABC News. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  19. ^ Kilcooley-O'Halloran, Scarlett (January 24, 2013). "Michael Kors". Vogue. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  20. ^ Infomat Michael Kors Biography Archived January 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Infomat.com, September 10, 2009
  21. ^ "Michael Kors: Retail's next billion-dollar man". cnn.com.
  22. ^ The Michael Kors Story Archived July 29, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, December 11, 2012
  23. ^ Wilson, Eric (February 27, 2009). "Mrs. Obama in Kors". The New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
  24. ^ Pezik, Anna (August 16, 2002). "Gwyneth Paltrow: 'Possession'". CNN.com archive. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
  25. ^ Atkinson, Nathalie (February 22, 2011). "Oscar Scorecard: Best costume design". The National Post. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
  26. ^ Wilson, Julee (January 22, 2013). "Alicia Keys' Red Gown: Singer Stuns In Michael Kors Design At Inaugural Ball". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
  27. ^ Newbold, Alice (July 3, 2018). "Why Michael Kors's AW18 Campaigns Mark A New Chapter For The Brand". British Vogue. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  28. ^ "Ugbad & Rianne Pose in Michael Kors Spring 2020 Campaign". Fashion Gone Rogue. January 13, 2020. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  29. ^ Team, ELLE India. "Exclusive: Bella Hadid is the face of Michael Kors' Spring 2019 campaign". Elle India. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  30. ^ "Bella Hadid in MICHAEL Michael Kors 2020 Summer Campaign". Anne of Carversville. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  31. ^ "Bella Hadid Leads The Band In New Fall 2020 Michael Kors And Michael Kors Mens Ad Campaigns". SSI Life. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  32. ^ "Bella Hadid Travels NYC for MICHAEL Michael Kors Spring 2021 Campaign". Fashion Gone Rogue. February 12, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  33. ^ Sidell, Misty White (December 18, 2012). "Michael Kors Is Leaving 'Project Runway'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  34. ^ "Watch Michael Kors Return to 'Project Runway' as Guest Judge".
  35. ^ "Michael Kors Is Fashion's Newest Billionaire". Forbes. January 2014.
  36. ^ Tony Duquette Files Infringement Suit on Michael Kors Einnews.com, January 27, 2009
  37. ^ "Michael Kors' company suing Costco claiming false advertising". ABC. July 16, 2013. Archived from the original on August 7, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  38. ^ Shea, Erin (July 16, 2013). "Michael Kors protects brand reputation in Costco lawsuit". Luxury Daily. Napean LLC. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  39. ^ The Devil Wears Prada script

External links[edit]