9 questions with Michael Kors: "I stick to a fashion uniform because it simplifies things"
The humorous mastermind behind the fashion and lifestyle empire talks time travel, his absolute essentials, and style in Singapore
What were you up to last night?
If your Tuesday evening saw a stroll through Orchard Road, then you probably encountered the hubbub outside Michael Kors' new flagship store at Mandarin Gallery. And if you were wondering what warranted such buzz, well, let's just say the man himself — flanked by silver screen luminary, face of his Watch Hunger Stop initiative, and the yin to his yang, Kate Hudson — are hardly lacking in local fans.
Down in Singapore to inaugurate the brand's latest (and largest) flagship store in Southeast Asia, we caught up with the affable Kors pre-pandemonium on the scintillating '70s, what his routine black outfit really means, and of course, the all-encompassing duplex that's an absolute shopping haven.
1. What's your favorite part about the brand's new flagship store in Singapore? The new store will be our largest flagship in Southeast Asia, so it's really an exciting milestone for us. I love that it offers both our men's and women's lines, so our customers can really immerse themselves in the world of Michael Kors and everything it has to offer. 2. What do you think of style in Singapore — in particular, the men — and what does the Michael Kors menswear range bring to the table? Both men and women in Singapore live the jet-set, international lifestyle that our brand is all about. The men are very sophisticated in how they dress, with a great sense of personal style. I think it's a great fit for us and I can't wait to see how men in Singapore bring their personality to my designs.
3. Your SS17 womenswear collection featured florals and sweaters that bore the word 'LOVE'. Was this inspired by the '70s? I love the '70s, but I was thinking more broadly about the whole concept of powerful romance for this collection. In today's world, women want to feel feminine and flirty, especially in the spring. However, my customers and the women I know are also powerful, strong and independent — I really wanted this collection to be a wonderful hybrid of those two thoughts. 4. What's the one era you'd visit if you could time travel? The '70s — it's my favorite era. I think that the period was really the beginning of modern times in fashion. It was a revolution in style that I'd love to watch happen all over again. Plus, who could say no to one last night at Studio 54? 5. What's your Jet Set Six: The six things you'll grab first if you had to up and go immediately? My phone, a black tee or cashmere sweater, dark jeans or cargos, sneakers, a tailored blazer and of course, my aviators. 6. You've famously said that clothes show who you are or who you want to be. What do you think your clothes say about yourself? When I was a teenager, I was a slave to trends. I even skipped my prom to go to Studio 54 in hand-made, raw silk pants! Now, I'm so busy that my priority is getting out the door as easily as possible. I need clothes that work for my lifestyle; I stick to a fashion uniform because it simplifies things. So I guess my clothes say that I spend my days making a lot of decisions about clothes!
7. What's your go-to selfie pose and where do you find yourself taking the most selfies? I don't take a lot of selfies but if I did, my go-to pose would include my aviators. 8. Having built your own fashion business from the ground up, what was the toughest challenge you faced over the years? I've always thought that the biggest challenge for any designer is to stay true to yourself and your design aesthetic, while continuing to surprise and delight your customers. I always try to stay engaged with the world — through travel, art, music, reading, and technology. That's how I stay inspired. 9. You now have an orchid named after you but if you could pick, is there anything else you would love to add to the pool? I have to say, the biggest honour I have ever received was when God's Love We Deliver, a philanthropy I really care about, named their new building after me. I've been involved with this organization for 20 over years and continue to be awed and inspired every single day by the dedication of what they do. Between that and the beautiful orchid, I don't know what more I could possibly want for!