NEW YORK — It’s about time for Michael.
Michael Kors (USA) Inc. is launching watches for its better-priced Michael Michael Kors collection. The women’s and men’s watches are being designed, developed and distributed in a licensing deal with watch behemoth Fossil Inc.
“A timepiece is one of the most personal things a man or woman can wear,” Kors said. “Our watches will be the perfect mix of form and function; with Fossil on board, I know they will execute my vision perfectly.”
John D. Idol, chief executive officer at Michael Kors, added that he and Kors partners Lawrence Stroll and Silas Chou believe in building Kors into a lifestyle brand. “Watches help complete our circle,” Idol noted.
Kors is joining a growing number of American sportswear designers and fashion houses in the watch arena, including Calvin Klein Inc., which produces watches with Swatch Group; Donna Karan International, which has DKNY watches with Fossil; Tommy Hilfiger, which has a watch license with Movado Group, and Bill Blass, which relaunched its watch business last year with Omni Watch & Clock.
For Fossil, adding Kors to its watch portfolio strengthens its presence on department store main floors. The company holds the watch licenses for such lines as Emporio Armani, Diesel and Burberry. Fossil also manufactures watches under the Fossil, Relic and Zodiac brands. Last month, it acquired Tempus International Corp., which operates under the Michele Watches moniker, for $50 million in cash.
The Michael collection is expected to stay true to Kors’ signature design aesthetics across classic, fashion and sport styles. It will come in genuine leather straps and stainless steel bracelets, with such details as top leather stitching, colored faces and earth-tone straps. Examples include a rectangular steel watch with a bracelet designed from linked MKs taken from the Michael collection’s signature MK logo, and a square-case chocolate-tone watch with a link rugged leather and tortoise strap. The collection will be priced at retail from $75 to $250.
The watches will be launched this fall in conjunction with Michael apparel and accessories, which are set to debut in department stores in August.
— Marc Karimzadeh