We all know the bag with logo spelled out in gold lettering - it is everywhere. But that’s the beauty of Michael Kors: his appeal runs from mass market to the very highest echelons of fashion. Few designers can do this effectively but somehow the All-American designer knows how to instinctively.
The vibe for SS’20 was tame enough, god bless Americana meets nautical chic, but was inspired by a visit to Ellis Island - the former emigration centre. Of course, Trump's US faces ongoing noise around expatriation issues but Kors himself is less political than his contemporaries. This nod to America’s beacon of hope is perhaps his way of fluttering with the issue - just a little mind, not too much.
This collection, with an immense 74 looks, spoke volumes on the need for positivity. This is the American dream as seen in casual chic but luxurious outfits. A sumptuous casual colour palette of beiges and blues, punctuated with pops of bright green and yellow, florals, polka dots and pinstripes.
There is a boyish air of genderless fluidity throughout - blazers are oversized and belted, trousers are slouchy - yet softly feminine dresses tailored to flatter a female form to perfection are present too.
As with stripes, stars are there too - as printed youthful motifs, or inventive embellishments on skirt seams or bag straps. And yes, Kor’s clan clearly still visit the Hamptons, but this season they are a bit ruffled, more rebellious perhaps? The stars and stripes, though subtle, might have a deeper meaning this time.
“Most brands use digital or social strategies merely to amplify a fashion show but for Michael Kors it’s strategic. It knows that the consumer makes a brand choice online.”
The billionaire designer is riding high at the moment, selling in 400 stores in almost 90 countries worldwide. Erich Joachimsthaler, chief executive of digital agency Vivaldi Group, puts this down to Kors’ ability to “capture the cultural current of contemporary America” and his astute online strategies.
“Most brands use digital or social strategies merely to amplify a fashion show but for Michael Kors it’s strategic. It knows that the consumer makes a brand choice online. It uses digital and social not just in an episodic way but consistently over time,” Joachimsthaler explains. Indeed Michael Kors had the most engagement of any brand during NYFWSS20.
In addition, Kors' bid to create a US rival to LVMH, Capri Holdings, acquired Versace in 2018 moves ahead, announcing first-quarter revenues for 2020 of $1.35 billion.
But back to the runway: Kors' last slew of 80’s mega-dresses worn by the likes of Gigi Hadid and Bix Walton made for a fitting finale to his American tale. Star-Spangled they certainly are, and befitting any presidential address.