The Man Behind the Brand
Kors demonstrated his understanding of that idea during his Miami appearance at the 2009 Destination Fashion fundraiser for The Buoniconti Fund for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. The designer teamed up with Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour for the benefit, which raised $3.9 million. “It was the largest Destination Fashion to date, and we thought about who would be ready to rock out and join the fun, and our first thought was Michael,” says Stephanie Sayfie Aagaard, cochairperson and producer of the event. “He was incredible in understanding what we needed and ‘Miami-ized’ the collection for us. I think women appreciate him so much because he’s that versatile and thinks about what works. It’s not all about six-foot-tall runway models, but every woman. That’s also true of his accessories; you can carry a little piece of Michael with you wherever you go.”

While Kors is appreciative of the praise, three decades in, he admits he has no plans to rest on the laurels of public accolades or even a lifetime achievement award. That’s because fashion, according to Michael Kors, never stands still. “The modern world is so multilayered these days,” he says. “In the ’70s, you designed for a woman who was about feeling comfortable with her body and feeling a little more sexual; in the ’80s, it was power, power, power. In the ’90s, it was streamlined design. And at the turn of the century, it was about dancing-on-the-tables exuberance.”

Kors thinks for a moment. “Today the expectations are higher than ever when a woman buys something. As a designer, it always keeps me on my toes, that’s for sure.”

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