Looking through Michael Kors’ look book, it’s obvious as to why he’s celebrating forty years of success


Michael Kors is a world-renowned fashion designer who started his collections in the early 1980s. This year, Kors celebrates forty years of a successful business as he tells Vogue magazine about his winnings in life and how surreal it really is when he says, “I’m still kind of juiced to just see people on the street wearing what I design.” While Kors could boast about his ornate designs, he chooses to be humble and appreciate the people that have gotten him where he is today.

Kors’ collections jumpstarted the fame to his name only a few years after his brand took off. While it’s easy to love every piece that Kors releases, it’s important to take a look at how he expresses himself for the past forty years.

In Kors’ Fall 1988 Ready-To-Wear collection, the neutral colors that tend to complement the skin tones of various models, such as nude and monochrome outfits, took the runway; it’s obvious that this designer brand stays within its limits in its first couple of years. There were a few looks with a pop of color, but they strictly stayed to the monochrome theme. While exploring the differences between skirts with tights, long dresses, pant-suit-inspired one-pieces, and sets, these fill a lot of the beginning of this look book, but the main pattern that’s obvious is the vertical stripes. 

In one of the brand’s first runways compared to the most recent Fall 2021 Ready-To-Wear collection, we see a lot more variety in length. In thirty-three years, it seems, the only thing Kors lost was the tights. While still keeping obvious themes, Kors dabbles in various gray hues. The most obvious, positive change throughout the years has been the difference in materials. A lot of similar textures are used in the sets, but his audience is beginning to see sparkles integrated with medium-length dresses.

The best collection, in terms of stepping outside of the box, is the Fall 1994 Ready-To-Wear. The most obvious color choice is black, which tends to be a slimming and flattering movement on the runway, but this collection is where somewhat calm patterns began to run the show. Kors experimented with animal prints mixed with dull tones to ensure the eye gets drawn to these fantastic pieces. Zebra and cheetah print skirts and coats make for the perfect splash of varieties in a somewhat dull ambiance. 

I’m still kind of juiced to just see people on the street wearing what I design.”

— Michael Kors says to Vogue

While the Fall 1994 collection sported lighter colors like pink and purple throughout, it felt out of place for the overpowering, dark sets; in Spring 2019 Ready-To-Wear, colors and patterns owned every second of the show. Kors’ collection was inspired by sunny days at the beach, and these looks gave the world just that.

While the brand has proven itself to be known for monochrome outfits, this collection sticks out like a sore thumb. Each outfit is flooded with different designs and clashing colors that someone who is a fan of the early collections wouldn’t be impressed.

There are sketches straight from Kors’ mind that are available to the public. Each is different from the last, and compared to the real dresses, they look almost identical. Instead of using computer software, like most designers might use today, there’s evidence of Kors putting pencil to paper. Using authentic methods seems to be the best for Kors, and seeing his signature by every piece of art is something that a lot of people can appreciate.

Kors’ overall appeal is worldwide and well known on the runway. Forty years of business is well-deserved and shows how fashion statements can stay current throughout the decades. While some critics may not agree with the bolder statements for the brand, Kors does a great job of making his clothing appealing for all genders, shapes, skin tones, and sizes. 

Since 1981, Kors has struck the fashion world with his collections of brilliance through his work. Each piece is a window into Kors’ mind and what a beautiful place it must be. It’s debatable if Kors is influencing the fashion world or if the fashion world is influencing him, but regardless of the world’s opinion, he stays on track with his success.