Michael David Kors (born Karl Anderson Jr., August 9, 1959) is an American fashion designer who creates both men’s and women’s ready-to-wear clothing, accessories, jewelry, watches, footwear, and perfumes.
Michael’s actual name was initially Karl Anderson Junior and he was born on Long Island, New York. His mother (Joan Hamburger) was Jewish, and worked as a model at the House of Revlon, while his father (Karl Anderson Sr.) was Swedish, working as a handyman, here and there. After the second marriage, the boy’s mother’s last name changed to Kors because it was the last name of her second husband (Bill Kors). As he later mentioned to us, his mother told him: “Since you are changing your last name to Kors, why don’t you choose a different first name too?” Michael and David were his favorite names, so Karl Anderson Junior became Michael David Kors then.
During his childhood, Michael already showed an interest to fashion, mostly thanks to the influence of his mother’s modeling background. At the age of five, he even already redesigned his mother’s wedding dress for her marriage with Bill Kors. However, he was not yet sure whether he would want to go into fashion industry or would it be a car industry in Detroit, which attracted him a lot too. However, he made a choice in favor of the fashion industry at the end.
In 1977, Michael starts studying at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology, and a year after that begins to work at a small clothing boutique, located right across the road from the luxury Bergdorf Goodman store.
In 1981, when Kors started to create his own clothes, he was noticed by Dawn Mello, a female executive at Bergdorf Goodman. She had seen him decorating the window of that little boutique and was quite surprised that it was he who designed all the current clothing there. Thus Michael got an invitation to come to Bergdorf Goodman and try presenting his clothing collection to the buyers.
Soon after that Michael starts working on the real collection of his own brand called by his name. At that time he used to work at the same place where he lived — a tiny apartment at Greenwich Village, a neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan in New York City.
In 1987, the dress from his collection appears on the pages of Vogue magazine.
In 1992, the designer presents his first men’s collection. And in five years after that, in 1997, he becomes really famous. Céline (already owned by LVMH group at that time) offers him to become the chief designer, to help them reviving the brand. Two years later, LVMH buys a 30% stake in Michael Kors brand.
In 2000, Michael Kors adds sunglasses to the range of his brand’s products. The same year, a Hong Kong billionaire Silas Chou (founder and owner of Sportswear Holdings Limited) acquires a 85% stake in Michael Kors brand by buying back the shares from LVMH and other investors for $100 million dollars in total.
As to the designer’s personal life, he is married to his former intern, Lance Le Pere, since summer of 2011.