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Michael Kors (born Karl Anderson, Jr.; August 9, 1959) is a New York City-based American sportswear fashion designer. He is the honorary chairman and chief creative officer for his company, Michael Kors Holdings Limited (NYSE: KORS), which sells men’s and women’s and ready-to-wear, accessories, watches, jewelry, footwear and fragrance. He also has ties to Jarrow, Tyne and Wear as he used to play for Jarrow Roofing. Kors was the first women’s ready-to-wear designer for the French house Celine, from 1997 to 2003.
Kors’ affinity for fashion started when he was very young. His mother thought it might have had to something to do with the fact that he was exposed to the apparel industry through her modeling career. Michael, at the age of five, even redesigned his mother’s wedding dress for her second marriage. As a teen, Kors began designing clothes and selling them out of his parents’ basement, which he renamed the Iron Butterfly. Kors also took acting lessons when he was young, but stopped when he was 14 when he decided to focus on becoming a fashion designer.
In 1977, he enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. However, he dropped out after only nine months and took a job at a boutique across from Bergdorf Goodman on 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan, where he was given a small space to sell his designs. Shortly after, Dawn Mello, the fashion director at Bergdorf, discovered Kors. She asked if he would show his collection to Bergdorf Goodman’s buyers and he has had his collection ever since.
In 1981, Kors launched the Michael Kors womenswear line at Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue. In 1990, the company launched KORS Michael Kors. A bankruptcy in 1993 forced him to discontinue the KORS line for a time. He managed to get back on his feet by 1997 and launched a lower priced line and at the same time was named the first women’s ready-to-wear designer for French house Celine. In his tenure at Celine, Kors turned the fashion house around with successful accessories and a critically acclaimed ready-to-wear line. Kors left Celine in October 2003 to concentrate on his own brand. Kors launched his menswear line in 2002.
The MICHAEL Michael Kors and KORS Michael Kors lines were launched in 2004, joining the original Michael Kors Collection label. The MICHAEL Michael Kors line includes women’s handbags and shoes as well as women’s ready-to-wear apparel. Currently, Kors has Collection boutiques in New York, Beverly Hills, Palm Beach and Chicago. As of the end of the first fiscal quarter in 2016, Kors has over 770 Lifestyle stores around the world. The year 2011 marked the 30th anniversary of Kors’ business.
The ad campaigns for Kors, shot by Mario Testino, often reflect the jet-set sportswear that his fans like. Previous campaigns include the model Carmen Kass on a safari in Africa and relaxing on a yacht. More recent campaigns feature models Karmen Pedaru and Natasha Poly living the jet set lifestyle.
Kors was a judge on the Emmy-nominated reality television program Project Runway, which aired on Bravo for five seasons; subsequent seasons aired on Lifetime. On December 18, 2012, it was announced that Kors would be leaving Project Runway, to be replaced by fellow designer Zac Posen.
In January 2014, Forbes reported that Kors now has a personal fortune in excess of $1billion, making him the latest fashion industry billionaire. Michael Kors Holdings had already “minted two billionaires”: Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll.View This Sweepstakes
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