Michael Kors is a 60-year-old renowned American fashion designer and television personality most famous as one of the judges of Lifetime’s Project Runaway Fashion Show and for his popular aesthetic women sportswear collection.
He is the Chief Creative Officer and Honorary Chairman of the brand, “Michael Kor” which offers lots of products ranging from menswear, womenswear, accessories, footwear, and fragrances.
He is the youngest fashion designer to be honored with the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CFDA’s) Geoffrey Beene’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His estimated net worth is $600 million.
Early Life & Childhood
Michael Kors born as Karl Anderson Jr. on the 9th of August, 1959 in Long Island, New York to Karl Anderson Sr. and Joan Hamburger. He is of Jewish and Sweden descent.
He was exposed to the fashion industry quite early owing to his mother’s career in modeling. He began modeling as a toddler as he featured in television commercials for the breakfast cereal brand, “Lucky Charms” and “Charming” paper towels.
He had a change of name at the age of 5 when his mother got remarried to a businessman, Bill Kors following separation from his dad. His mother gave him the freedom of choosing a new first and middle name for which he chose Michael as his first name and David as his middle name (Michael David Kors).
He helped redesign his mother’s wedding dress for her second marriage. During his teens, he designed clothes and sold them from his parents’ basement under the brand name, “Iron Butterfly”.
He attended and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore following which he briefly partook in acting lessons but stopped to focus on his dream of becoming a fashion designer. He further attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York but dropped out after nine months.
He was hired as the Salesman of Lothar’s boutique in Manhattan and later got promoted to the position of the Visual Display Head. Lothar’s boutique was close to Bergdorf Goodman, a luxury goods store and he caught the attention of Dawn Mello, the Fashion Director at Bergdorf Goodman who hired him.
He launched his first women’s label, “Michael Kors” at Bergdorf Goodman store in 1981 which was also sold in all major luxury stores in America including Bloomingdale, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth.
He ran his first eponymous catwalk show in 1984. Bergdorf Goodman launched his brand “KORS Michael Kors” as a licensee in 1990. His brand, “KORS” was put on hold due to the closure of one of its licensing partners in 1993.
Kors launched another clothing line in 1997. He was hired as the Fashion Designer of Women’s ready-to-wear collection for “Celine”, a French house that same year. He played a vital role in rejuvenating the Celine brand and left the company in 2003 to focus on developing his brand.
He released his menswear collection in 2003. His signature style is a combination of sportswear, casual, street, and evening wears.
He launched his diffusion line “MICHAEL Michael Kors” in 2004 which entailed women’s bags, shoes, and apparel which gained worldwide recognition further leading to its expansion to more than 770 stores in regions like London, Paris, Milan, Tokyo, and Cannes.
He was selected as one of the main judges for a popular fashion designing TV show, ‘Project Runaway’ in 2004 which involved the contestants to design clothes from available materials and chosen designs. This show was broadcasted on the “Bravo network” for five seasons and subsequently on the “Lifetime network” following which he became popular because of his savviness on the show. He retired from Project Runaway in December 2012.
Michael Kors had over 1500 in-store boutiques and more than 550 stores in various countries across the globe in 2015. He celebrated his company’s 35th anniversary in 2016.
His amazing designs have been worn by many celebrities to date. Michelle Obama wore a Michael Kors outfit in her first official portrait. Alicia Keys also wore a Kors design for her performance at the U.S. President Barack Obama’s second inaugural ball. Olivia Wilde and Kate Hudson wore his stunning designs to the Golden Globe Awards in 2016.
Shortly after the legalization of gay marriage in New York, he got married to Lance La Pere, the Vice President of Michael Kors Women’s Designs on Dune Beach, Southampton in August 2011.
Achievements & Awards
- Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CFDA’s) Womenswear Designer of the Year Award (1999)
- Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CFDA’s) Menswear Designer of the Year Award (2003)
- Geoffrey Beene’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2010)
- Oliver R. Grace Award for ‘Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research’ (2010).
He was part of an annual list of 100 most influential people, “Time 100” as selected by “Time Magazine” in 2013.
He was honored by the “United Nations World Food Programme” as the “Global Ambassador against Hunger” in 2015.
Michael Kors Holdings Limited acquired Jimmy Choo Limited for £896 million in July 2017 and also acquired an Italian Label, Versace for $2.1 billion in September 2018. Upon closure of the Versace deal, changed its company name to Capri Holdings Limited (CPRI) on the 2nd of January, 2019.
His estimated net worth is $600 million (2019). Most of which came from his sportswear designs as the CEO of Michael Kors Holdings Limited. The MK brand is now 38 years.
Read also: MARC JACOBS-Bio, Age, Brand & Net Worth
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