Michael Kors highlights 36-year fashion career during Met talk – Los Angeles Times
Michael Kors and Alina Cho were interrupted by animal rights activists early on in their discussion Wednesday night at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, but neither was about to let the protesters ruin the night.
One minute the designer was talking about giving his likeness âa cute backsideâ in a resort print and moments later he was encircled by demonstrators chanting about his use of fur. But Cho and Kors kept their cool. Once order was restored, after a short break, they returned to the stage to discuss his career. After the fact, Kors said of his intrepidness, âListen, I had the ceiling fall during a runway show and hit Suzy Menkes on the head, and the show went on.â
Korsâ priority is his shoppers. âI always say that I make the frame so that the women who wear the clothes are the picture,â he explained. Here, are a few of the highlights.
The companyâs recent decision to close 100 stores
âWe all have to remember that nothing is ever going to compete with the rush, the rustle of the tissue paper, the shopping bag â you canât give that up. We just did a trunk show in Chicago. Youâre showing clothes to women who have seen them on their phones. Itâs not quite the same thing. Itâs a matter of how all of this works together how you shop online on your phone, on your laptop, in a store.â
Giving back with Godâs Love We Deliver and the U.N. World Food Program Watch Hunger Stop
âWe live a very fast life in New York. A lot of people are very privileged. I tell everyone, âGo deliver a meal. It will change your world.’â
Why is Asia so important to everyoneâs business?
âEveryone has to remember the best word in fashion is âcuriosity,â so if you have a customer who is excited, inspired, enthused and curious isnât that the best business opportunity? Now weâve seen there is less variance from region to region. Maybe we sell more boots in Moscow or more sandals in Singapore, but our customer travels and they actually have a very similar point of view.â
Sizing up Mario Testinoâs shots of Edie Campbell in the new fall campaign
âI love that sheâs so chic and so bored. Whatâs amazing though in fashion, a lot of people think fashion has to be sad and dour. And it can never be happy or, God forbid, wearable. Mario and I both love joy, energy, luxury and glamour. Sometimes I hear people say, âOh, Iâm going to wear that for special occasions.â Iâm like, âYour life is a special occasion. Wear your damn beaded dress with a sweatshirt over it.â Enjoy the things you own.â
His view of the Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons exhibit
âMind boggling. When you see the breadth of her work, itâs remarkable. Everyone says they wear Comme des Garçons T-shirts or cute sneakers, but then you look at these pieces that certainly were never designed to be worn or packed. I mean packable? Itâs not walkable or sittable. Hereâs a designer whoâs not thinking of that when sheâs creating these things. Sheâs really creating in a very different sphere.â
Walking the red carpet and dressing Kerry Washington for this yearâs Met Gala
âTorture â the stairs freak me out. They seem endless. When I talk to celebrities who have walked the red carpet a zillion times, they say they still get nervous. Kerry had just had a baby and I said, âYou want everyone to see how remarkable the bod is lookingâ¦.Right before we were about to get into the car, I asked her, âAre you wearing commando briefs?â She said yeah. I said, âYouâve got to switch your underwear.â So we switched everything and sewed her underwear to the dress at the last minute literally on our way. Thatâs the ultimate couture attention.â
âSheâs been a customer of ours for a long time. What we have to remember is that my favorite customers are opinionated. They know what works on them, whatâs right for themâ¦.The simple truth is if I do my job well we have customers who are 17 and who are 90, customers who are size zero and size 22. So I donât think itâs a political thing.â
Securing the largest IPO for a fashion company in 2011
âWhen I first started in fashion, American fashion was for America. The reality is if you have been doing something for a long time and can still stay curious, that is the greatest thing as a human being. And certainly to do what you love. But I think it says a lot about American fashion and how potent American style is globally.â