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Last Updated on July 14, 2022
You may know the name Michael Kors, but how well do you know the brand? This brand has been around since the 1980s but was popular in the 90s, 00s, and it’s still thriving today.
With a rich design style and a cult of fans, Michael Kors has won the hearts of consumers worldwide and their success keeps growing.
Keep on reading to find out more about the brand’s history and current status.
Michael Kors’ origin story
The brand Michael Kors was created by an American fashion designer of the same name Michael Kors in 1981. This designer studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in his native New York before leaving early to start selling his original designs.
In 1983 the brand won the Dupont First American Original Award and the next year it debuted its first catwalk show. Even in the early years, this brand was a big success. In the 90s the brand dropped the famous KORS Michael Kors range, building a base of loyal clients.
Kors went on to become a womenswear designer at Celine. This brief stint as a designer led to Kors being named the creative director for the French fashion house, proving his success as an industry expert. After years at the brand, Kors left in 2004 to expand the Michael Kors business and to judge on Project Runway for 10 impressive seasons.
What types of clothing is the brand famous for?
When you hear the name Michael Kors what do you think of? Many would answer bags and watches, however, the iconic brand designs all types of fashion products. These include ready-to-wear clothes, shoes, and luggage too.
Their most iconic pieces are definitely their handbags, and the MK logo is hard to miss on their luxury purses. Even today, when you visit the brand’s Instagram page it’s full of colorful handbags and other premium accessories too.
What makes the brand popular?
This brand has been a staple for young men and women for decades. The brand targets those who live a fast-paced lifestyle as they describe themselves as a designer for “the global jet-setter”. The brand’s relaxed image and luxury look attract a range of consumers who want to live an aspirational life. Celebrities like Bella Hadid collaborate with the brand to reinforce this image.
Read: Coach vs. Michael Kors: Throwing Handbags at Dawn
Who is their target market?
The target market group for the Michael Kors brand is interesting, as this mid-level designer brand focuses on young professionals that are starting to gain wealth instead of established upper-middle-class customers.
The brand promotes an expensive and exciting image, attracting those who want to move up the social ladder. Their age range is primarily consumers between 20-40 years old and they target more women than men.
Is Michael Kors a designer brand?
Michael Kors is considered a luxury designer brand, however, not a high fashion brand. As the fashion retailer sits within the mid-level range it’s aspirational, but not unattainable. The brand also mass-produces products rather than made-to-order, again proving it’s not an elite house like Gucci or Prada.
Read: The Definitive History of Prada
Is Michael Kors still in style?
Though the classic MK logo isn’t popping up as frequently as it did in the 2000s or 1990s, this brand is still thriving. Just one look at the brand’s social media accounts will prove its current popularity. As of late 2021, Michael Kors has 16.7 million Instagram followers, proving it’s still a strong fashion contender.
Deep Dive: 5 Brands That Resemble Michael Kors… A Lot!
Clothing / Footwear / Accessories
When studying a brand, you can learn so much from their most popular products! Though Michael Kors does release menswear and womenswear collections, the brand is more well known for accessories, shoes, and perfumes too.
Bags & Purses
It’s difficult to discuss the success of Michael Kors without mentioning their popular bags. The Michael Kors bags come in all shapes and sizes including purses, backpacks, and cross-body options too. These will always feature the sleek MK logo and sometimes a modern monogram print too.
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Another key accessory Michael Kors fans love is their timeless wristwatches. With a range of glamorous designs, Michael Kors is well known for producing feminine designs that add some luxury to everyday outfits. These watches were very popular in the 2000s and are still worn today.
Michael Kors has released lots of perfumes over the years, but their most popular three include Wonderlust, Coral, and Glam Jasmine. The brand’s signature scent is a floral number that combines exotic incense and sensual wood smells for a complex scent.
Shoes are another popular product from this fashion giant. With sneaker options, moccasins, boots, and heels too, Michael Kors covers all bases. You can always expect excellent craftsmanship and high-quality materials in these chic options.
Over the years, Michael Kors has worked with a wide range of celebrities to keep the brand in the spotlight. Dresses and outfits from the brand have been worn on the red carpet by stars like Heidi Klum, Gwyneth Paltrow, Miranda Kerr, Blake Lively, Jennifer Lopez, and Natalie Portman too.
Recently, the brand worked with Kate Hudson, Reese Witherspoon, and Lori Harvey at the In Style Awards where Michael received the Designer of the Year 2021 award!
In 2018 the brand entered into a sponsorship with South African golfer Charl Schwartzel. Schwartzel was a professional sportsman and Master’s champion, proving that golfing was entering the world of designer sportswear.
Though there is immense pressure for designers to step up their game and improve their sustainable and ethical practices, Michael Kors still receives a “not good enough” rating on the Good on You index. This highlights how the brand isn’t using sustainable fabrics and it also isn’t making an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their production. The brand also receives a “very poor” rating as the supply chain used isn’t certified.
Summary: Is the brand good?
Michael Kors is a popular and iconic brand, however, their ethical practices diminish the shine of the designs. In this day and age, you need to be making at least some effort to reduce emissions and to improve the lives of workers, especially if you want to keep a large customer base. Transparent brands do tend to do better, so we hope Michael Kors starts to improve their production soon!
Do you like the Michael Kors brand? Let us know what you think in the comments!