NEW YORK BRIDGE: OF KORS

Byline: Bridget Foley

NEW YORK--Women want it all--at least according to Michael Kors. And that's just what he wants to deliver with his new bridge collection, Kors by Michael Kors.
"The reason fashion has been decade-surfing so much is that past decades have each been about one key point," Kors says. "The Sixties were youth, the Seventies, sex, the Eighties, power. In the Nineties, women want all of the above--plus comfort."
The new Kors line, launching for fall, is designed to fit that bill. In it, Kors says he's focusing on items--"the way real women really dress."
"If I think this woman's only going to wear Kors with Kors, I'm kidding myself. This is about real life, not fashion with a capital F."
The designer says the collection is cut to look sexy and feminine, but features a men's wear sensibility in terms of comfort and practicality. Also on a practical note, the palette is mostly neutrals, with lots of grays and browns accented with bright primaries--"the most effortless way to wear color."
The 100-piece collection is produced by Onward Kashiyama, which also produces ICB, a bridge collection of which Kors is currently head designer. Kors will enter the market at a considerably higher price point. For example, while ICB jackets average about $375 at retail, Kors' jackets will average about $475.
This new collection is the designer's second foray into the bridge arena under his own name. His first effort, launched in 1989 under the label Kors, was produced by a Compagnia Internazionale Abbigliamento, an Italian firm that went out of business after several seasons.
"I've always wanted to do it again," Kors says. "We had success at retail, but there were so many problems in Italy. Finding the right situation is essential. In this instance, it's terrific."
Unlike the first time around, when Kors enlisted David Cameron to produce a flashy video featuring Christy Turlington and a mAnage-e-trois, "Jules and Jim" theme, he's now taking a more subdued approach to the launch. "I want to put my energy and effort into the merch," Kors says. "The customer today is different. She wants to cut to the chase."

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