Michael Kors has been labeled the new Ralph Lauren by fashion elites and consumers alike. And rightfully so: like Mr. Lauren, Mr. Kors is a brand unto himself. He’s managed to turn his unique vision of simple yet luxurious sportswear for the jet-set crowd into a $10 billion public company.
Mr. Kors, a Long Island native, attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan for several months in the ’70s before dropping out to cut his teeth at a New York boutique across the street from Bergdorf Goodman. He officially launched Michael Kors, his first women’s wear line, in 1981, selling items at Bergdorf, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, among other New York luxury retail giants. Mr. Kors has worked closely with French fashion house Céline, and has launched a menswear line and two additional clothing and apparel lines, MICHAEL and KORS. He is lauded as one of the first to create affordable, ready-to-wear designer clothing for women. And most recently, the style mogul announced plans to open a massive, three-story flagship store in Soho, among other New York locations.