The dreams of Michael Kors are no longer just realities. They are programs. They live with open eyes, should never be scary, and above all they are done together. In Capri, a weekend at the end of July: with hellish heat and a heavenly view of the Faraglioni, Michael Kors jokes: “I feel like I’m in the Hamptons, there’s way too much of Americans”.
Stylist-star at the origin of the luxury fashion group Michael Kors Holdings Limited, which became Capri Holdings Limited with the acquisition of Versace in 2019 (the brand joining Jimmy Choo in the group), Kors has for more than forty years been a regular at the Italian island. “The first time I came, I was 25: it’s a magical place. Of course, it’s better out of season. But it’s still wonderful. »
How was Michael Kors at 25?
Eager. Terribly impatient.
And how was he as a child?
Like an only child in a Pedro Almodovar film. I grew up surrounded by women, many women, all with strong characters. My childhood was a mix between a film by Almodóvar and Fellini.
How were these women?
Characters. They were all real characters. All with well-grounded ideas and temperaments. My mother. My grandmother. Even my aunts and cousins had very strong opinions. They always treated me like a little adult. I was one of them, I was never considered a child.
A matriarchal education in a patriarchal world…
Growing up with women who weren’t afraid to speak their mind taught me everything. And, on closer inspection, in the early part of my life, I lived with men who weren’t afraid of their feminine side and with women who exhibited a more traditional masculine side. I have to say it was a nice balance.
Was it a source of inspiration?
Whoever creates must learn to feed on others: family, friends, strangers. I like people watching on the street. They are living ideas. In New York, in every city in the world, I watch people. And I feed on new ideas.
You live in New York. They say the city has changed since the pandemic…
New York today is a boxer on the ground watching the referee trying to figure out when and how to get up. Because New York is always being reborn. Do you remember after 9/11, when everyone said New York was over? Well, it wasn’t, because it will never be over. What I see in the city today are newcomers. Young people who look at the world with a new perspective and who may also give a new perspective to the city.
You’ve done a lot for New York: donations, events, fashion shows. Is it important for a rich man like you to donate, volunteer, give back?
For me, that’s not where the main issue lies. The main issue is that we are all interconnected. If something happens somewhere, it happens everywhere. I’m not a scientist and I don’t want to play politician, but after the pandemic, it’s even clearer that to change things, everyone’s commitment is needed. And sometimes it just takes a little. Recently, I became interested in education, especially for young girls. There are countries where girls don’t go to school because they have to help around the house. With the World Food Program, we have helped provide healthy and nutritious meals to these young women, to these young hopefuls. Everyone must try to break the cycle of poverty. Especially when it comes to women.
Speaking of women: even in rich countries like the United States, they are under threat. What is happening with the right to abortion is an example…
You are quite right ! But you know how I see all this? Life is like a series of long waves to be surfed. Once at the top, another wave comes and like after the Supreme Court decision on abortion rights, you can find yourself at the bottom. Unfortunately, we are regressing. And to new generations, I say: never take anything for granted, because nothing ever is, even when it comes to rights. So, heads up, let’s get back on the board and ride that wave.
Sometimes I think of my grandmother in heaven wondering what’s going on down there… Fortunately, I have the fashion that always forces you to go ahead and ask yourself: what will it be interesting tomorrow?