Beloved by fashion editors worldwide for his timeless, clean-cut aesthetic, Michael Kors has played a pivotal role in defining American fashion. Raised on Long Island, Kors gave up his childhood career as an actor to become a teenage fashion designer — making and selling trendy clothing from his parents’ home, then studying at FIT. In 1981 he launched his namesake ready-to-wear label and quickly developed a reputation for designing chic, sporty women’s clothing that reinterpreted classic style with casual ease. In 2001 Kors added shoes and accessories to his flagship label, then a men’s sportswear line in 2002. Two years later he expanded his empire again with the diffusion line MICHAEL Michael Kors and KORS Michael Kors footwear. The youngest-ever recipient of the CFDA's Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, Kors continues to challenge himself with perenially fresh takes on handbags, watches, trousers, jackets, and other wardrobe staples. As one writer put it, “his clothes have never lost that clarity, that versatility, that American, self-possessed, no-brainer chic.” None other than First Lady Michelle Obama might agree with that statement, having worn a black sleeveless Kors gown for her official White House portrait.
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