Michael Kors: Fashion Designer

Michael KorsMichael Deloris Kors is an American fashion designer, a native New Yorker of half Scandinavian and half Jewish decent, son of former Revlon model Joan Krystosek Kors, owner of the Michael Kors fashion line and is known for classic and luxurious designs of American sportswear.

Kors’ career in fashion began at an early age. At age four he was already modeling for cereal commercials and when he became a teenager, he studied fashion design at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. When he was 19, Kors designed and merchandised a collection for Lothar’s boutique on 57th Street in New York. He received good reviews for his work which inspired him to make his own fashion line.

In 1981, Kors launched his own label, the Michael Kors collection. His vision was to create chic, luxurious fashion for American sportswear. He launched his first womenwear line at Bergdorf Goodman and Saks at Fifth Avenue and he gained instant success.

Kors plays with natural fabrics and natural colors and is known for clothes that goes for a minimalist approach but features curvaceous cuts and designs. His influences include American sportswear designer Claire McCardell.

The commercial success of his first collection prompted him to open his own shop in Madison Avenue. At first, he designed mainly for womenswear, but in 1997, Kors presented his very first menswear line. He created a trial menswear collection and sold it at Bergdorf Goodman and in his boutique which earned quite a following. But the public had to wait for five more years before Kors’ full-scale men’s collection was launched.

In 1997, Kors was named the very first women’s ready-to-wear designer and creative director for the French fashion house Celine. He worked for Celine for six years. He then left to concentrate on his own label. Fall 2004 was Kors’ last collection for Celine.

Also, during that year Kors launched "MICHAEL Michael Kors"and "KORS Michael Kors" collections which included women’s and men’s ready to wear, accessories such as handbags and small leather goods, men’s tailored clothing, dress shirts, neckwear, timepieces for men and women, and footwear. The collections were launched in more than 350 stores nationwide.

The MICHAEL line is considered more of an upscale collection and yet the price is relatively reasonable for the general consumer. The KORS collecion, on other hand, has a footwear line.

Kors was awarded the Elle/Cadillac Fashion Award for Excellence in 1995, had won the CFDA award for womenswear designer of the year in 1999 and the CFDA award for menswear designer of the year in 2003. Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum, Sharon Stone, Sigourney Weaver, Liv Tyler, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Catherine Zeta-Jones are known to have worn Kors’ designs.

During the early part of 2007, The Humane Society of the United States asked the Federal Trade Commission to fine high-end retailers and designers for mislabeling fur found in their clothes. Kors was among the designers named in the petition. The Human Society found out that some products made with fur from dogs, wolves or raccoon dogs were being marketed/labeled as either fake fur or other types of fur. Doing such is a violation of the Federal Fur Products Labeling Act.

Image Source: Wikipedia

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