Michael Kors presents yet another intimate fall collection with sustainability and long-term wear in mind. Brad Homes reports from New York Fashion Week.
It was a New York kind of day, in the best possible way. At six AM, the sky was picture-perfect blue and the air especially crisp – perfect for the Michael Kors Collection Fall 2020 show we were about to see. As I hailed a cab and raced downtown to the American Stock Exchange to an interview with Mr. Kors ahead of his 10AM show, I was excited, a little nervous and ultimately curious about the man I was about to meet. As I clutched on to my coffee I was ushered into a room where we had a few quiet moments to muse on the man himself and, of course, the upcoming collection.
With the show close to starting, we got down to business. When asked about his inspiration behind the collection Kors spoke of how many of his customers live in big cities and the way everyone craves those rare moments where you can simply unplug. “The world is definitely complicated, our phones bring us too much news, too often and I wanted this whole idea of something that has the relaxed attitude of the country but with a very urban polish,” the storied designer began. “A sort of yin and yang mix of the two: It’s cosy so you feel enveloped, the chicest security blanket that you wrap yourself in.” I was already sold.
The conversation then veered to the all-important issue of sustainability. It was interesting to note, by the way, that the jacket Kors was wearing that day was purchased in London 17 years earlier, and he remarked how he “never sees his clothes in a vintage store and that the reality is that we make the kind of things that people keep for many, many years that are investment oriented, things that stand the test if time.” Furthermore, Kors also noted that the younger people he’s seeing are suddenly realising that the worst thing you can do for sustainability is to buy a fast fashion dress and only wear it two times for their Instagram post.
Sustainability within Michael Kors’ collection is a process that they’re working on. For example, there is an evening dress presented in the show with sequins made from recycled bottles. Recycled cashmere was also in use. “Ultimately the Michael Kors customer wants it all: Beautiful fabrics beautiful tailoring and, at the same time, they want to be conscious of the planet,” Kors elaborated. “It’s about teaching people the value of investment; fashion should not just be one wear.”
As our conversation winded down, we also touched on the Michael Kors’ next big milestone – the brand’s 40th anniversary. “With fashion, you have to stay curious and excited,” Kors exclaims. And he proudly still is, with his favourite collection always the one that he’s currently working on.
With the interview complete we headed inside the show’s venue, where guests were invited to step inside a special photo set modelled after a peaceful countryside road for a brief, private escape. Continuing that theme, the runway has been transformed into a deconstructed country house using floating wood walls and window frames. It certainly made for a fitting background for a collection featuring pieces made with recycled or reclaimed materials as well as responsibly-sourced fibres. Following the show, the wood used in the décor will be donated to Materials for the Arts, New York City’s largest creative reuse centre.
A musical performance by country singer Orville Peck, who was dressed in Michael Kors Collection, set the tone as models – from Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber to Adut Akech and Freja Beha Erichsen – walked the runway in a haze of mist and spotlights.
Once the show wrapped up, I looked around the room to see the delight on everyone’s faces. For sure, Michael Kors has just achieved that moment of unplugging he mentioned earlier during our interview. As I fantasised about the finale look – a sequin gown draped in a cashmere coat – it provided a rare moment of calm in the chaos that is New York Fashion Week. I can’t wait to see what the wonderfully talented and charismatic designer dreams up next.