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Fashion / Style File

Fashion Xanax Makes Michael Kors a Very Chill Mogul

How a Tycoon Turned Fashion Week Into a Night at the Beach

BY // 10.22.18
photography JP Yim/Getty Images for Michael Kors

NEW YORK — Michael Kors is one busy guy. In a push to build a U.S.-based fashion conglomerate, the popular designer recently engineered a deal to buy Versace for $2.1 billion, a year after acquiring the luxe shoe label Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion.

These top fashion names will join his venerable Michael Kors brand in a new company called Capri Holdings to challenge such European-based giants at LVMH (owner of Louis Vuitton, Dior, Givenchy, Fendi, etc.) and Kering (owner of Gucci and Bottega Veneta, among other luxe labels).

You’d think such high level machinations would give Kors some high anxiety. But he seems to have calmed himself down by creating a spring/summer ’19 collection he describes as “fashion Xanax for a complicated world.”

Perhaps the easygoing attitude has to do with a recent trip Kors and his husband took to Bora Bora because he came back with the idea for a colorful underwater print of fishes in the sea that is emblazoned on sundresses, hot pants, fringe jackets, headscarves and totes. Many other looks in the collection, unveiled on the last day of New York Fashion Week amid a modern beach scene painted by Australian artist Christina Zimpel, feature a wild floral print in contrasting colors.

Just about every look has a “day at the beach” vibe. Sweatshirts and cashmere beach towels in bright colors are emblazoned with the phrase, “MK Beach Club Malibu,” while stylized images of surfers adorn hoodies and starfish jewelry adds a touch of the sea to a white short and jacket ensemble modeled by Bella Hadid.

It’s not one of Kors weightier efforts, but you can’t argue with his success. With all the craziness in the world right now, the ever ebullient and optimistic designer insists it’s time to calm down and have fun. And cool, colorful clothes can only enhance the mellow feeling.

Part of the Special Series:

PaperCity - On the Runway Spring 2019
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