21 Facts We Learned About Michael Kors During His ‘Fashion Icons’ Chat With Fern Mallis

by Freya Drohan

Michael Kors recently sat down with Fern Mallis for her long-running Fashion Icons series at the 92NY. It was a rendez vous for the pair, as the design world heavyweight previously sat down with the creator of NYFW back in 2012. As always, there were lots of moments to make mental note of, reflect on, and commit to memory incase we find ourselves in a round of random designer trivia anytime soon… here’s what makes the man behind the behemoth brand tick!

1. He hates Zoom, but loves impromptu meetings: this he quickly learned during the pandemic!

2. Michael and his husband Lance LePere are Broadway fanatics and have invested in Broadway to support the arts.

3. That’s where the idea for the 40th anniversary show came from—in Kors’ eyes, the city is a fashion show in itself. “The world had to stop for me to have a show in Times Square,” he joked. The company also made a significant contribution to the Actors Fund after the event. 

4. He’s a big American Idol fan.

5. Carole King is one of his ultimate New York women.

6. Kors is forever affected by living through the AIDS crisis and losing so many young friends. “It was a war and the shock of war doesn’t wear off,” he said

7. Kors was getting ready for work the day before his fashion show was scheduled when 9/11 happened. His terrace directly faced the Twin Towers and while he was on the phone he saw the second plane hit, and he dropped to his knees in horror.

8. When Kors went to head up Celine in Paris they told him, ‘Don’t wear sneakers, don’t order Coca Cola while you’re eating, and don’t carry The Herald Tribune on the street’ as it was ‘too American.’ (He added that he did indeed wear sneakers and order Coca Cola every day anyway!)

9. The beach is his happy place….much to the chagrin of his dermatologist!

10. One of his proudest moments was when Michelle Obama wore one of his designs in her official White House portrait—he had made it for the stylist, but didn’t know it was for the First Lady until he was at the theater and saw his phone blowing up.

11. He’s passionately involved with The New York Restoration Project and Watch Hunger Stop. His favorite thing about social media is using it to spread the word about philanthropic causes.

12. He called his holding company Capri as he adores the magical island with its “incredible natural beauty, history, and glamour.” He also referred to the three points of the rocks in Capri representing England for Jimmy Choo, Italy for Versace, and America for Michael Kors.

13. His biggest influences are Tina Turner, Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, and Yoko Ono.

14. He adores Rihanna and Zendaya’s style.

15. The up-and-coming designers he’s most excited about are Peter Do, LaQuan Smith, and Khaite’s Catherine Holstein.

16. Ashley Graham made her runway debut in one of his shows.

17. His wardrobe essentials for every woman are: a camel coat, impeccable black trousers, and anything in black sequins.

18. His favorite thing about himself is his long neck.

19. His favorite garment is a coral sweater.

20. His advice would you give to young aspiring designers: “I was in a terrible rush when I was young and wanted everything to happen overnight. But at the end of the day, you want to have a long career, so go slow. Don’t think you need to have a big fashion show before you’re ready. Don’t try to have a huge collection. Stay focused. Let it grow incrementally and most importantly, know who you’re dressing.

21. He also recommends design students work in a store, because it is “great experience.”

Coming up! Fern Mallis will be sitting down with three fashion industry legends in the coming months at the 92NY.

March 23: Todd Oldham and that is sure to be interesting.
April 10: Marylou Luther & Ruben Toledo
May 17: Naeem Khan

Find tickets here.

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