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Michael Kors: 'My clothes come to life on the street'

Michael Kors: 'My clothes come to life on the street'

Michael Kors is focused on making clothes that people will actually wear.

The New York-based fashion designer’s garments can be described as a cross between all-American glamour and sportswear, with Kate Hudson, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez all devoted fans of the brand. And whether it be a dress, bracelet watch or leather bag, Kors asserts that at the heart of his designs is a desire to create something that is both practical and wearable.

“When I put on a show or I design a collection, it doesn’t come to life until I see it on the street,” he told “I think people gravitate toward what surprises them and feels indulgent, but also to what adds to their sense of style and confidence, something that feels like an old friend you can grab on a regular basis.”

While the Project Runway judge has built a dedicated female clientele since he launched in 1990, he’s determined to expand on his menswear offering with contemporary yet timeless pieces. Experimenting with thick knits and fur-trimmed, double-breasted coats for fall, the 57-year-old noted his key sources of inspiration for the upcoming season were John F. Kennedy and American actors Steve McQueen and Ryan Gosling.

“We’ve seen all the rules for women disappear,” he said. “And now guys are saying, ‘Why shouldn’t I have that same kind of freedom?’ My clothes are ultimately for a man who makes his own rules.”

Though the brand now operates over 650 retail locations around the globe, Kors tries to ensure he takes time out from overseeing the company whenever he can. When he does find time to unwind, Kors spends much of it travelling with his husband, Lance LePere, the brand’s executive vice president creative director, whom he married in 2011.

“I’m a New Yorker and I’m juiced by the mix of people on the streets, the energy, but I recharge by reconnecting with nature,” he shared. “Give me a beach or a mountain with fabulous service and great architecture, like the Amangiri in Utah or the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur.”

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