One word can be used to sum up Michael Kors’ design: classic. Kors rose to fashion fame designing classic sportswear for women. As of 2011, he is one of the most successful American fashion designers, with boutiques showcasing full collections in New York City, Long Island, New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills and Palm Beach.
Michael Kors was born in Long Island, New York. As a designer, he has never strayed from his vision of providing ready-to-wear and luxurious pieces for modern women. After graduating from fashion school in 1981, Kors began selling his clothes at department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman almost immediately. He began working for the French fashion house Celine in 1998. In 2003, he left to devote himself fully to developing his own fashion lines.
Kors has developed his own unique take on the easy, all-American look. His clothes are dominated by clean lines and are based on using neutrals with pops of color and very minimal pattern, if any. Simplicity is most important in Kors’ design; his approach is to highlight a woman’s figure with flattering clothes made with luxurious fabric and attention to shape and fit rather than color or pattern.
A Michael Kors piece is elegant while still being comfortable. Kors uses cotton in many of his ready-to-wear, sporty women’s clothes, which often have nautical themes. In his more high-end lines, Kors uses fabrics of many varieties, including leather, fur and cashmere. These pieces exude a “New York City” look that is sleek and luxurious. His biggest concern, though, is that his clothes are still wearable and practical for the American woman.
Michael Kors’ design aesthetic has been compared to designers such as Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren — all known for their classic, American style. These designers have all been able to achieve commercial success while attaining a high profile in the often extravagant world of high fashion by merging luxury and art with what the average woman would be able to wear on a typical day.