“No matter your age or
style, what most women want is something that makes their lives easier”
The supremo of sports luxe maestro of a record-breaking label and Project Runway judge, Michael Kors is one of America’s most powerful fashion talents. He talks about surviving the industry for 30 years.
Project Runway, you have a significant profile in the media. How influential has this been for your career?
Certainly a broader range of people know now who I am. And as much as that may be for the visceral reactions I have to some of the things I see on the show, I think it’s also that they realise I’m honest and pragmatic. And that’s certainly been a boost in building not only brand awareness but trust in the brand.
2011 marked your 30th year in the industry. How have you maintained such success?
You have to be authentic and consistent in your vision while still throwing in something that surprises them. The best thing about being in business for this long is you really get to know yourself as both a person and a designer.
What are your top tips for young designers?
I’d tell them they really need to understand that it’s not all about having a fabulous fashion show. They need to ask themselves ‘Can you really get these clothes made? Will they fit well? Can you ship them? Will they be the right quality at the right price? Are you offering something she can’t find anywhere else?’ If you don’t have answers for all those things, you need to do a lot of work before you go out on your own.
What was the inspiration behind your SS12 mainline and MICHAEL Michael Kors collections?
A trip to South Africa’s Singita Reserves. It was magical in terms of the colours and textures of the landscapes there. The inspiration for both labels always starts with one idea, which is brought to life in a big-picture way for [the mainline] Collection and a more items-driven approach in MICHAEL Michael Kors.
How would you sum up your design aesthetic?
Sporty. Sexy. Luxurious.