Mr. Kors began his career in fashion at the age of 19 designing and merchandising a collection for the renowned boutique Lothar’s in New York City. The success of these clothes caught the attention of the fashion press, prompting Kors to strike out on his own. In 1981 the Michael Kors label was formed; since his collection was established, it has never strayed from Kors’ initial vision of chic, luxurious American sportswear.
In 2001, Michael Kors launched accessories under his collection label. Today, the line includes a full range of women’s handbags, shoes, belts and eyewear. In 2002, the company launched a full scale men’s collection in response to the critical acclaim received by a capsule menswear line launched in 1997.
In 2004, Kors unveiled Michael Michael Kors, to an unprecedented launch in over 350 doors nationwide. The Michael Michael Kors label includes women’s ready to wear, swimwear and accessories including handbags, small leather goods, belts and shoes; as well as eyewear and timepieces for both men and women.
Michael Kors Collection flagship boutiques are located throughout the United States in New York City, Long Island, Beverly Hills, Palm Beach and Chicago; international collection stores include Milan and London. In 2006 the company began an aggressive growth of accessory focused stores encompassing the world of Michael Kors. There are currently 60 stores in North America, as well as international locations including Munich, Seoul, and the Middle East. In early 2010, Michael Kors K.K. Was formed with plans for a major expansion throughout Japan.
Mr. Kors’ first signature fragrance for women, ‘Michael Kors’, was launched in 2000, followed by a mens scent in 2001. In 2005, the company launched ‘Island Michael Kors’, which has spawned four limited editions. In 2009 the company launched a major fragrance franchise, “Very Hollywood Michael Kors”.
Celebrities who have worn Mr. Kors’ clothes include Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Uma Thurman, Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige, Kate Winslet, Sandra Bullock, Madonna, Barbara Streisand, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Blake Lively, Angelica Huston, Jennifer Hudson & Debra Messing. In March of 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama chose a Michael Kors gown for her first official portrait; Mrs. Obama continues to wear Michael Kors on a regular basis.
Michael Kors received Dupont’s “First American Original” Award in 1983, and the Elle /Cadillac Fashion Award for Excellence in 1995. In 1996 he was named by Vogue magazine part of the ‘New Establishment’ – and referred to as “one of the most influential designers of the decade”. In 1999, Michael Kors received the CFDA Award for Womenswear Designer of the Year, followed by Menswear Designer of the Year in 2003. In June of 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, Mr. Kors was one of three nominees for the CFDA’s Accessories Designer of the Year Award. In June of 2010, Mr. Kors was the youngest recipient to ever receive the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award from the CFDA; and received the Fragrance Foundation’s Fifi 'Hall of Fame' Award for Lifetime Achievement. He also received the Oliver R. Grace Award from the Cancer Research Institute.
In 2004, Mr. Kors began his role as one of the judges on the critically acclaimed and five time Emmy nominated reality show “Project Runway”, a role that he continues in the series’ seven seasons.
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