Jumpsuits to jewellery and bags to perfumes — Michael Kors has done it all. ELLE caught up with the designer and biz-whizz to discuss his vision and why his Fall/Winter 2018-19 collection is an ode to personal style.
ELLE: Michael Kors has virtually everything a woman could need to feel stylish. What inspired you to create such a multifaceted label?
Michael Kors: My goal has always been to help women and men look and feel like the best versions of themselves. My customers live busy lives; they’re always on the go and they don’t have time to go to a million different stores. When you step into one of our boutiques, you can get everything you need. Most of us have a mix of styles in our closet — high, low, day, evening — so why not let people shop that way?
ELLE: Your latest line offers a wide selection in terms of styles, prints and shapes. How did that come about?
MK: The fall collection was a celebration of personal style. So, we have something for everyone. It is all about combining the iconic with the eclectic; a homage to all the things I love.
ELLE: David Downton’s artworks feature in the collection. What made you pick him?
MK: I’ve always loved his fashion illustrations, and I was fortunate enough to sit for a portrait with him a few years back. He captures people’s essence and style, without having to draw every detail of them. So, when we were thinking about the different moods and personalities our customers seek to express when they get dressed, we thought, why not have some fun and pick an illustration or a character that represents how you’re feeling?
ELLE: Your New York Fashion Week show took place on Valentine’s Day. Was that intentional?
MK: We always show on the last Wednesday of New York Fashion Week, but I like to think of this one as my Valentine to personal style.
ELLE: What about the theme?
MK: It was all about taking these iconic motifs — florals, dots, tartans and stripes, animal prints, camo — and mixing them in a way that felt very fresh and new.
ELLE: Matching sets were styled as separates on the runway. Was that what you had in mind while designing the collection?
MK: It was about items for me: pieces that become your favourites and really build your wardrobe. I love seeing how women mix and style our pieces. It’s that idea of personal style that inspired the whole collection.
ELLE: The pieces also seemed designed to transition easily from day to night.
MK: I believe in clothes and accessories that can keep up with life today. And then, you have those items that I think of as look-changers — a shoe that instantly elevates what you’re wearing, a great clutch or the perfect red lipstick.
ELLE: Two of the looks featured shopping bags. What inspired that?
MK: They are my homage to the shopping bags at old-school luxury stores. When I was young, if you bought something at an iconic store, you saved the bag. When I got to Fashion Institute Of Technology, New York, I put the bags up on my wall. That idea of collecting shopping bags is something I love.
ELLE: What was the idea behind introducing printed accessories?
MK: They are a way for you to express your mood every day. You might not be able to wear a floral dress with a leopard belt and a plaid bag for every occasion, but you could still take that bag and pair it with a crisp black jacket and trousers.
Photograph: Douglas Friedman (Michael Kors)