An oral history of Michael Kors, from the WWD Archives:
August 9, 1959: Michael Kors, son of Bill and Joan, is born in Merrick, N.Y.
1959-1977: Spends childhood afternoons visiting an uncle who worked in the fashion industry, and went shopping wholesale on weekends with his mother. "For every male designer," he told WWD in 1985, "the way your mother dresses has an impact forever. My mother is very unmovable in her taste, her likes and dislikes."
1968: Designs his first collection. "I had a boutique in my basement when I was nine where I handpainted ugly little leather vests to sell to neighbors."
1977: Graduates from John F. Kennedy High School, Bellmore, N.Y.
1978: Drops out of FIT after one year. "I’m an FIT dropout. I thought I’d learn more working than at school so I left after one semester."
1978-1981: Works for Lothars, a store on 57th Street across from Bergdorf Goodman. "I had been selling part time, and they suggested I try designing. I made a few things for spring and by fall all the clothes in the store were mine. It was like a giant fantasy laboratory." His clothes started getting attention of customers and he showed them to Anna Wintour and Dawn Mello, who worked at Bergdorf at the time.
1981: Forms the Michael Kors label in 1981, delivering his first order to Bergdorf Goodman with the help from his aunt Mona and her Mercedes. "We put a pole across the back of the Mercedes and hung my whole order on it, and she got all dressed up because, you know, we were going to Bergdorf’s and she thought she was going to meet Dawn Mello." Volume for his first fall and spring collections is $450,000.
1989: Kors reaches $10 million dollar volume.
"When I first started, I was lumped into the new and young category. Yes, I’m young, but I don’t do kicky clothes. They’re young and sophisticated, but definitely not zany."
Nov. 1997: Signs on at Celine.
"The most important thing is that Céline is about real clothes. Women want to put Céline on their backs, and they enjoy wearing it."
1999: Named creative director for Celine.
June 1999: CFDA names him women’s designer of the year.
"I am American. And I bring with that certain popular touchstones. Maple syrup rocks my world. And cranberry juice."
1999: Golden Hanger Award, E!
Feb. 1999: LVMH purchases a third of Michael Kors LLC.
"It does enable us to drop the tag, ‘American designer.’ There will be no deal anytime soon for paint at Kmart."
2000: Onward Kashiyama purchases 10 percent.
Sept. 2000: Opens Madison Avenue Michael Kors flagship.
"I never thought commercial was a dirty word. I absolutely want the clothes to be wearable. I want a woman to be able to find a lipstick in the bags and to be able to walk in the shoes."
2000: Launches signature fragrance with Parfums Givenchy.
"Fragrance is the most personal thing we will ever sell. It’s my fingerprint."
Oct. 2001: Celebrates 20th year with a new Water Island home.
"When I started out at 23 or 24, I kept thinking, when is someone going to say, ‘He is one of the cool designers’? Then all of a sudden I was 30 and they are still not saying I am cool. I finally realized that cool means you are disinterested."
2001: Launches Michael Kors footwear, eyewear and handbag collections.
2002: Opens Kors Michael Kors flagship in SoHo, and Michael Kors flagship in Tokyo.
Feb. 2002 : Launches full Michael Kors men’s wear collection.
Jan. 2003: Sportswear Holdings Limited acquires minority stakes held by LVMH, Onward Kashiyama and John Orchulli.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews