Bio - Michael Kors
Michael Kors is renowned for his classic, chic, and luxurious but sensible aesthetic on American sportswear and other clothing styles. One critic said, "His clothes have never lost that clarity, that versatility, that American, self-possessed, no-brainer chic. His clothes for women are cut with enough care to become more than basic. In his able hands, what are essentially staples become classics." Indeed, in a 1996 review, The New York Times fashion critic Amy Spindler said of Kors: "Michael Kors is a designer with so much integrity in his work that it is wonderful when fashion comes back to the sort of simple, beautiful clothes he does so well."

Michael Kors began designing clothes at the age of 19 and studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. In 1981, Kors launched the Michael Kors women's wear line at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. When Kors was discouraged that he could never find a well-cut pair of gray pants and a good cashmere sweater, he treaded into the menswear category. Later, in his 1998 fall collection, Kors dressed male models to interact with the female models. From there, Michael used his women's wear factories to create a trial menswear line and sold it at Bergdorf Goodman and his boutique. It was a hit. In 2002, the men's wear line was officially launched. It is said that Michael takes inspiration from his line from the motion picture, Downhill Racer. The menswear line includes sweaters, tailored pants, and peacoats.

In 1997, Michael Kors was named the first ever women's ready-to-wear designer and creative director for the French fashion house Celine. In his tenure at Celine, Kors turned the fashion house around with blockbuster accessories and a critically acclaimed ready-to-wear line. Kors left in October of 2003 to concentrate on his own brand.

Recently, the Michael Kors brand has begun expanding. In addition to the Micheal Kors runway collection, the MICHAEL Michael Kors and KORS Michael Kors lines were launched in 2004. MICHAEL, though still considered upscale, is more reasonably priced and available to the public. The line is sold in department stores such as Nordstrom's, and Macy's. KORS is also sold in similar department stores and is considered the mid-tier line, between the runway and MICHAEL collections. The MICHAEL line includes women's handbags and shoes as well as women's ready-to-wear apparel. The KORS line contains footwear. In addition, Kors also created a fragrance for women in 2000 and a fragrance for men in 2001. The ad campaigns for Michael Kors often reflects the jet-set sportswear that Kors fans are fond of. Previous campaigns include the model Carmen Kass on the tarmac of an airport, on a safari in Africa, and relaxing on a yacht.

Michael Kors was awarded the Elle/Cadillac Fashion Award for Excellence in 1995. In addition, he has won two CFDA awards, the most prestigious award in the fashion industry. In 1999, he received the CFDA award for women's wear designer of the year and in 2003, he received the CFDA award for men's wear designer of the year. In fact, many promising new American fashion designers who have emerged lately have worked for Kors. Derek Lam (2005 CFDA award nominee for the Swarovski's Perry Ellis Award for Women's wear for emerging talent) worked for over 12 years as head designer at Michael Kors, later concentrating on the KORS Michael Kors line. The designer Peter Som (also a 2005 CFDA award nominee for the Swarovski's Perry Ellis Award) also apprenticed under Kors. In addition, Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler (2006 CFDA award nominee for women's wear of the year) interned at Michael Kors at the recommendation of Vogue fashion editor Anna Wintour. Among the celebrities who have worn Michael Kors' designs are Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Joan Allen wore his gown when she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the The Contender. In addition, Jennifer Garner wore a custom creation as an Academy Award presenter in 2006. Other celebrities include Sharon Stone, Sigourney Weaver, Liv Tyler, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Kors also outfitted Rene Russo's character in the 1999 hit remake of The Thomas Crown Affair. The openly designer has been a judge on the Emmy-nominated reality television program Project Runway, which currently airs on Bravo. He is also a contributor to Harpers Bazaar, most recently interviewing Elizabeth Taylor and Jessica Simpson for the magazine.