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Michael Kors on shopping, style and Steve McQueen

Words by Rob Chilton

The American designer opens up

Think of Michael Kors and you can't help but think of New York City. The designer has lived in the Big Apple for 41 years, building a global fashion empire that began in 1981. The former Project Runway judge is a high profile figure in the industry and always has a good story to tell. We asked him for his thoughts.

The difference between fashion and style...

"I think fashion is a reflection of the world we live in — it takes from popular culture and is in many ways a reaction to what’s on the runway. Style is about having a point of view and an opinion and then editing your wardrobe accordingly."

My most valuable item...

My grandfather’s wedding ring – I never take it off. Accessories are the exclamation mark of an outfit. They complete your look and bring out your personality.

Kors says style is about "having a point of view"

The one item nobody should wear...

“I don’t think there are hard rules in fashion, but I will say this: the worst faux pas a person can make is wearing something that doesn’t fit well. Fit is everything.”

How I shop...

“I shop for quality and ease, and I’m generally edited in my choices — jeans, black t-shirts, suits. That being said, I started my career in retail, so I appreciate – and get energised from – a great luxury shopping environment.”

The most stylish item I own...

“A custom-made Savile Row jacket.”

Kors with Kate Moss and Tom Hiddleston

My personal style icon...

“Steve McQueen immediately comes to mind when I think about stylish men through the years. He’s the reason I own so many aviators, I have three drawers of them!”

Online vs store...

“A combination of the two. I love that with online shopping, nothing is out of reach — you can be stuck in traffic and shop on your phone. But when you’re in a luxury store, there’s a constant sense of discovery all the way down to the feel of the tissue paper and the packaging.”

Taking the applause at a show

My dream dinner party...

“I would invite three designers: Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Halston. I like to cook fresh, simple meals so I would go for a great steak or fish and a crisp salad — maybe with homemade ice cream for dessert.”

The thing I like most about my job...

“Fashion is constantly changing and no day is ever the same — otherwise, I’d be bored.”

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