Michael David Kors (born Karl Anderson Jr.) is an American fashion designer and entrepreneur.
Kors is best known for being the chief creative director and honorary chairman of his namesake fashion brand, Michael Kors. The company deals primarily in men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, footwear, and related accessories like watches, jewelry, and fragrance.
Michael Kors (brand) holds the record for being the first women’s ready-to-wear fashion designer for the French fashion house Celine. The company served as Celine’s designer from 1997 to 2003.
Michael Kors was previously managed under Michael Kors Holdings Limited. But on January 2, 2019, the company changed its name to Capri Holdings Limited.
|Michael David Kors / Karl Anderson Jr. (birth name)
|August 9, 1959
|Karl Anderson Sr. and Joan Hamburger
|Long Island, New York City, United States
|Mixed (Swedish and Jewish)
|John F. Kennedy High School and The Fashion Institute of Technology
|Married to Lance Le Pere (since August 16, 2011)
|Lance Le Pere
|USD 600 million
|Source of Wealth:
|Fashion Design and Other Ventures
|5′ 10″ (1.78 m)
|70 kg; In pounds: 154 lbs.
Early Life and Career Information
Michael David Kors was born Karl Anderson Jr. on August 9, 1959, in Long Island, New York City, United States, to Karl Anderson Sr. and Joan Hamburger.
Joan Hamburger was a former model. She divorced her first husband and married Bill Kors when Karl was five years, and Karl’s name was subsequently changed to Kors. Hamburger also opted to change her son’s first name to Michael David.
Michael Kors took an interest in fashion design from a tender age, having been exposed to the industry by his mother Joan Hamburger. Kors was also interested in acting as a child. However, he gave up his acting ambitions to focus on fashion design.
After graduating from John F. Kennedy High School, Michael Kors began designing and selling clothes from his parent’s basement. He then attended the New York City-based Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) but left the institution after only nine months of study to focus fully on his fashion design ambitions.
Shortly after dropping out of FIT, Michael Kors became a salesperson at a beauty store in Midtown Manhattan called Lothar’s. He was quickly promoted to the position of designer and head of the store’s visual display.
It’s during this period that Bergdorf’s fashion designer, Dawn Mellow, discovered Michael Kors. Mellow asked Kors to showcase his fashion collection to Bergdorf Goodman’s buyers, a challenge Kors accepted.
Michael Kors launched his namesake fashion company in 1981. The brand initially focused on women’s fashion. Its exquisite products soon became available in several established stores, such as Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus.
In 1997, Michael Kors launched an affordable ready-to-wear line for the French fashion store Celine. In 2002, the brand added a menswear line to its catalog. More products would soon follow as the company embarked on a vigorous expansion campaign across the United States and worldwide.
Michael Kors eventually became a household name in the fashion industry. The brand has dressed scores of renowned celebrities. Noteworthy examples include:
• Alicia Keys
• Angelina Jolie
• Catherine Zeta-Jones
• Dakota Johnson
• Emily Blunt
• Heidi Klum
• Hilary Clinton
• Lupita Nyong’o
• Kate Hudson
• Kate Middleton
• Michelle Obama
• Nicole Kidman
• Olivia Wilde
• Reese Witherspoon
• Tiffany Haddish
In 2017, Michael Kors acquired the Jimmy Choo brand for approximately $1 billion. In September 2018, the company purchased Versace for $2.1 billion. The three brands became part of Michael Kors Holdings Limited.
In January 2019, Michael Kors Holdings Limited changed its name to Capri Holdings Limited.
Michael Kors has landed quite a few television roles courtesy of his success in the fashion business. One such appearance was as a judge for five seasons of the television reality series ‘Project Runway.’
Michael Kors’ Net Worth
Michael Kors is associated with a billion-dollar fashion powerhouse. Therefore, it’s intuitive to imagine that he’s equally a billionaire. But that’s not exactly true. As at 2023, Kors had a net worth of $600 million.
The main reason Michael Kors isn’t a billionaire despite his association with a fashion company whose market cap is worth billions of dollars is that he doesn’t own all shares in the brand. In 2003, Michael accepted around $100 million in exchange for a controlling interest in his brand to investors Lawrence Stroll and Silas Chou. Today, Kors’ ownership stake in the company staggers around 5%.
However, Kors $600 million net worth is still enough to place him among the richest fashion designers in the world. And given the ever-rising fortunes of his namesake company, it may only be a matter of time before Kors’ net worth hits the 1-billion-dollar mark.
Lessons from Michael Kors
1. Start early
Michael Kors became interested in the fashion industry in his preteen years. Kors attributes his success in the industry partly to his ability to start early.
2. Use every opportunity to prove your worth
Kors served in several companies before establishing the Michael Kors brand. He leveraged every opportunity to prove his design prowess, which explains why he easily got promoted.
3. Great things take time
Michael Kors is undeniably one of the world’s most lucrative fashion powerhouses. However, the journey hasn’t been without its bumpy rides. In 1993, Michael Kors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as its fortunes consistently dwindled. But thanks to Kors’ resilience, the company was able to bounce back.
Famous Quotes by Michael Kors
• I know what women look good in. I don’t think the rules ever change.
• I learned how women shop, what they look for, and what they like and dislike. I got to know my customers, and that’s key for any designer.
• I think the older I get, the more I realize that the ultimate luxury is time.
• Learn to invest in the best quality you can afford and wear pieces in different ways.
• When you try on something, you have to ask yourself, ‘How many ways could I wear this? Could I wear it to work? To dinner or drinks? Will it span the seasons’ If you have to think too hard about those questions, then skip it.
Michael Kors has succeeded in building a global fashion powerhouse. Kors’ billion-dollar namesake company has earned him a stunning net worth of $600 million as at 2023.