#SuzyNYFW Michael Kors: The Eternal Optimist
Michael Kors is on a mission to cheer everyone up.
“You know me, I live to travel, work and play.
“I think in this moment, globally, of sadness, everywhere I go, people still dream of blue skies, turquoise water and a sunny day.”
Michael was explaining his spring/summer 2018 collection, knowing that I was rushing off to Venice for the launch of ‘Homo Faber’ – an unprecedented gathering of European artisans.
The designer is an enthusiastic traveller – both for pleasure and for inspiration.
“I just got back from the South Pacific when you are in this remarkable water, and you’re thinking to yourself: ‘these are precious things’.
“I want to capture that kind of ‘joie de vivre’.”
And more men and women are increasingly in step with Michael’s joyous worldview, according to the designer.
“Do you know what people are buying for fall? Women who I never saw wearing colour, or anything joyous are now the opposite.
“Clients I’ve known for a long time who always wear black and grey say: ‘You know what, I love the yellow tartan trouser; I love the floral dress’. Because of the sadness, and because of this sort of cloud hanging over us, I think everyone’s the sort of opposite.”
The merry designer insists that he never wants to be in a bad mood – and he has stories to prove it.
“Listen, we were in Los Angeles doing an event and we saw this giant taxi-yellow shearling coat from fall. And this woman at the event looked at me and she said ‘Oh thank god it’s not black nylon.’ And I said ‘exactly’”.
So sunny is Michael’s outlook that he jokes his second job could be “opening Michael Kors beach clubs!”
Kors’ latest collection very much has holidays in mind – from Malibu cashmere to fun, floppy hats fit for the beach.
And it’s not just the feel of the clothes that are designed to catch the holiday breeze – the fabric has been scythed, so it’s paper thin and can fly and flutter creating an attitude that Michael describes as “sexy but easy”.
But while the collection may feel breezy, Michael explains it is “anti-disposable fashion” with its intricate handwork and handpainted flowers.
“Customers are finally saying, ‘wait a second, I can’t buy a dress, wear it Friday night and throw it out on Saturday. It’s just not right’. So you know we will teach them, handwork, embroidery, things you hold on to.”
And he thinks times are changing.
“I don’t know if it’s necessarily changing because of fashion,.” he says. “I think it’s changing because they understand the sustainability situation of you running through the shopping experience, and the getting-dresses experience, and that handbags are meant to get better with time, and not get worse.
“I don’t actually care how they come to it, if they’re not coming into it from the fashion angle that’s fine. Come to it from the sustainability side and I’m thrilled.”
Sustainability and sunshine – Kors’ collection is designed to put you in the holiday mood even on the drabbest of days.