MICHAEL KORS: FROM STYLIST TO OWNER OF THE CAPRI HOLDINGS GROUP
Michael Kors is one of the most powerful names in fashion. Last year, the American bought Italian Versace for more than R $ 7 billion and, earlier this year, his group of luxury brands, entitled Michal Kors Holdings, changed its name to Capri Holdings. According to the stylist himself, this is a way to honor the history of Donatella Versace's label.
This Friday (09.08), Kors turns 61 and, to honor him, we tell a little of his story and some of his twists and turns.
One of the most famous men on the New York scene, Michael Kors started early. At the age of five, he helped his mother, Joan Hamburger, choose the best looks for parties and weddings.
The young man opened his first boutique, Iron Butterfly, on Long Island, where he sold pieces of clothing that he stylized or designed. In 1977, he moved to New York to study fashion at the Fashion Institute of Tecnology. However, after nine months, he dropped out of school to accept a position at Lothar’s Boutique, which was booming in the city on 57th Street.
Always keen on the commercial side, in 1981 Michael Kors launched his own label, having Lothar’s as its first customer.
The first parade of its namesake label took place in 1984 and was a critical success. Brands like Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus and Saks bought their pieces to resell them in their own stores.
Proving his value, Michael Kors became a stylist for the French Celine in 1997. He was the first man to be appointed as the brand's creative director and helped to re-establish it as an up to date label. After six years, the Amerian left the house to focus on his own brand.
In addition to being nominated by the Council of Fashion Designers of America as the designer of the year in 1999, in 2010 the American fashion council honored him with the “Lifetime Achievement Award”. And for 10 years, Michael Kors was a judge on the American program “Project Runway”, alongside Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn.
What nobody expected was the turnaround that Michael Kors achieved with his business. The Michael Kors Holdings group, in addition to managing the namesake label itself, owns Jimmy Choo and Versace. The group's objective, now Capri Holdings, is to continue its expansion. We can expect even more from the American entrepreneur, who today is admired by thousands of fashionistas.
The first collection of women's clothing MICHAEL KORS, which translated the mix between sophistication and modernist sensibility, ended up in the luxurious racks and shelves of the most prestigious department stores in the city, such as Bloomingdale's, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor , Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. MK's style, as he would become known, was influenced mainly by the stylist Roy Halston, an icon of American fashion in the 1960s and 1970s, who came to wear icons like Liza Minelli and Elizabeth Taylor, in addition to the beautiful Jacqueline Kennedy. Its combination of luxury and sophistication with the simplicity of a T-shirt gave new meaning to the term “sportswear” and was dedicated to women of any age and any nationality, who were connected in fashion, but far from considered “fashion victims” (term created for describe people who buy any piece that appears on the pages of specialized magazines, without any discernment).
Her secret was to mix simple and sporty pieces with luxurious details and a lot of shine, especially combining basic T-shirts with pearls and classic skirts up to the knees, jeans with fur stoles or even jersey dresses with heavy ski jackets. The success in the early years was enormous. In 1983 he received his first award for originality in American fashion, the DuPont American Original Award, and since then, the “oldest young stylist in New York”, as he usually calls himself, has already been nominated for an endless number of awards. talent and recognition. In 1984, his collections debuted on the catwalks. And at the end of this decade, the brand expanded its product line with the launch of its first collection of women's shoes. At the beginning of the following decade, as a way to conquer another target audience, the brand launched KORS LIGHT, a clothing line more accessible than the original. Another important event that occurred at this time was the brand's first campaign starring Christy Turlington and photographed by Steven Meisel. Kors was appointed creative director of the French fashion house Celine in 1997, where he remained for six years, and was appointed as the main responsible for reinventing and bringing the brand back into the spotlight of the fashion world.
With collections available in the largest department stores in the United States, its first store opened only in 2000, at 974 Madison Avenue, in the heart of New York. In the following years, the brand gained four more exclusive addresses: on Rodeo Drive, the most famous luxury haven in Los Angeles, on the American west coast; in Manhasset, near Long Island; in Tokyo, Japan; and in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Also in this period, it expanded its line of operations by launching women's accessories such as bags, shoes and sunglasses; the first fragrances; a complete line of watches, which became a real sales success; in addition to his collection of men's clothing. As of 2004, the designer created two new lines: MICHAEL Michael Kors, introduced simultaneously at approximately 350 points of sale across the United States, which also included leather accessories and men's tailoring; and KORS, composed of faithful versions in alternative fabrics and, therefore, of lesser value, of the most luxurious pieces from its own collection, such as coats with fur applications and elaborate dresses. And it was precisely from this moment when Kors started appearing as a judge on the popular TV show Project Runway, that the brand really took off. A year earlier, he teamed up with John Idol, a former Ralph Lauren executive, to expand the brand to the masses, thereby creating “populist luxury”.
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