MODEL STUDENT: During his pre-fall appointment Friday morning, there was ample time for Michael Kors to congratulate one of the models — Woodside, Calif.-native Mackenzie Drazan had just received word that she was accepted into Duke University. “We were doing looks, and she said, ‘My application from Duke just got back,’” said Kors. “I felt very paternal.”

Though beaming with fatherly pride, the designer himself famously dropped out of the Fashion Institute of Technology to focus on his career, a decision he doesn’t regret. When FIT approached him about an honorary degree, he felt that it was akin to cheating: “I said, ‘Everyone knows I dropped out. It’s OK.’ I don’t need to rewrite history, it actually worked out. It’s fine.”

This story first appeared in the December 16, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.