TIME Magazine Interviews: Michael Kors

Since 1981, the award-winning fashion designer has created classic American clothing under his own label. He answers reader questions here
so we're here with michael kors in his Midtown Manhattan office and we're gonna do ten questions for Time magazine thank you for joining us today Michael great to see you what is your biggest inspiration for your upcoming collection well I have to say that I always think there's cause and and reaction like where were we coming from and where are we going next and I kind of felt like fall was this very tough season and I like that everything got streamlined but I wanted to find a way to have something that's tough but at the same time pretty so it's not that I you know went to a museum and saw a sculpture and said oh it's all about that sculpture or went to a place this is not as kind of a specific thing to a place but it's how do you take pretty and at the same time make it strong would really be the main kind of focus of the collection your designs are emblematic of American sportswear what did you do to cultivate your fashion eye how did you develop the cores look I think you know I think that fashion designers are we are products of our time and you know I grew up I was a small child in the 60s I came of age in the 70s and it really was the revolution of comfort and versatility and mobility and you know I grew up with the mom who was very casual and liked to look great but was never dressed up and so I think that sports were just made sense to me and at the same time also I'm very casual so intrinsically even if I'm looking at an evening gown the gown that turns me on is kind of just an overgrown t-shirt and so I think it's the timing and how you grew up who do you currently admire in the fashion industry hmm I would probably say you know one of the people who intrigues me the most is is Oscar de la Renta because longevity and kind of reinvention fashion is about reinvention and I think Oscar has seen it all and he has managed to reinvent himself consistently and something that you've got to take your hat off to what is your favorite article of clothing Oh a black t-shirt hands down I think a black t-shirt can take you anywhere from the beach to Black Tie to many American men fall into the trap of ill-fitting clothing and horrifying shoes is there any way to guide more American men to have a more refined approach to their clothes I think the biggest thing that American men don't seem to remember is that you need a tailor so you know what look in the three-way mirror and alter your clothes I think that's the biggest thing everyone's clothes are either too big or too small when and why did you decide to go into the fashion business well it's an odd thing there was always the tug of war between show business and fashion and I took acting lessons when I was a teenager and when I was around 14 I realized that I couldn't sing and I couldn't dance and if I became an actor I would probably be a waiter and at the end of the day every time I left acting class all I wanted to do was go shopping so I knew that fashion was really the Pole for me what is the most difficult decision you've made in your career thus far and looking back now do you regret it I don't regret anything I've done in my career I think that it's always it's a journey and I think that everything you do if you think that you've arrived and you know everything then you're cooked so regretting even you know things that have happened that haven't been great I don't regret them because how do you learn so I don't have any regrets what do you consider as a turning point in your career oh I've had a few turning points I would say probably the two most important if I had to go down to to my first windows my first season on Fifth Avenue at Bergdorf Goodman it was just you know out of the out of the gate just to start out like that was amazing and I think showing a collection in Paris at Celine in the late 90s we really at the time no one ever thought American designers would be showing in Paris and I think we taught that we taught the French a few things about how to get dressed comfortably and Shaklee at the same time what's the greatest satisfaction you've had as designer I'm kind of you know it's not a singular one I think I'm satisfied when I see people on the street wearing my designs and they look great in them you know so it's not only the fashion show you know and and it equates to just does it really work in life you know and it could be someone famous and it could be just you know a neighbor woman walking by me so whether it's Michelle Obama looking spectacular in Michael Kors for her official portrait or my next-door neighbor carrying a handbag and I think the bag looks great and it works for her life that's what I really think I'm kind of wow doing something right

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