Michael Kors’ fondness for New York City is as storied as his career. Having staged a 40th anniversary runway show in Times Square that was meant to help Broadway theaters bounce back post-pandemic, the designer is celebrating another Manhattan haunt with the reissue of one of his signature bags.
Unveiled in 2004, the grommeted Astor carryall was an homage to Astor Place, where generations of skateboarders have showed off their skills amid East Village-bound clubgoers, Cooper Union students and commuters. It also is home to famed restaurant Indochine, with its potted palm trees and rattan furniture, and The Public Theater, where shows like “Hamilton,” “A Chorus Line” and “The Normal Heart” premiered before landing on Broadway. Kors has reissued the bag at retail and online.
Kors said in a statement Tuesday, “The Astor Place subway station, with its powerful cube sculpture by Tony Rosenthal, is the dividing line between Greenwich Village and the East Village, two of my favorite New York neighborhoods. The Astor bag itself will be turning 20 very soon. And the sporty glamour that exemplified the early Aughties seems incredibly relevant to the way we are all living and dressing today.”
The Astor bag is available in two sizes that retail for $498 and $598. Shoppers got a glimpse of them in the designer’s spring advertising campaign. The relaunch will be pushed on the company’s e-commerce site and via its social media channels. A round of gifting for some of Kors’ celebrity friends may happen down the line.
Aptly in hindsight, Astor Place was once known as “Art Street.” From 1767 until 1859, a resort known as Vauxhall Gardens was located on the street. America’s first multimillionaire John Jacob Astor owned the area at one point, and it was named in his honor following his death in 1848.
The Astor’s “artisanal studding and heavy topstitching are reminiscent of legendary sandal and belt maker Barbara Shaum, whose studio was on East 7th Street right off Astor Place,” Kors added. “The Astor bag is truly one of those things in your wardrobe, like a great pair of jeans, that gets better and better with time.”