Michael Kors talks to ELLE

On white jeans and having babies

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It’s 8:30am on a bright New York morning but rather than taking it easy, ELLE is standing against a wall backstage, avoiding half made-up models, highly strung people with clip boards and eagle-eyed photographers.

It’s early September and we're at the Michael Kors show in New York, waiting to interview the man himself.

Finally, we’re ushered into the dressing area where Kors, dressed top-to-toe in black and with his trademark tan (from summer spent on a yacht, no doubt), is calmly preparing to show his spring/summer 2014 collection.

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'I feel like father, waiting for the babies to be born,’ he tells us. ‘It takes nine months, so it’s the same, but after 32 years I’ve had a lot of babies.'

And with that it’s into the past, long before his fashion career took off, that Kors takes us when asked to recall a fashion moment he will never forget.

‘Oh my gosh, I’ve had too many to remember! Probably instead of going to my high school prom I went to Studio 54 for the first time. I wore a crazy pair of trousers that looked like harem pants, and two silk shirts. I went with a friend who was wearing a crazy little bandeau top, bright pink pants and a flower in her hair.

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‘We walked in and I saw Halston sitting there with Bianca Jagger and I said, "this is the place to be". I’m glad I skipped my prom. That would probably be one of them, but there’s been many… Hopefully today!’

Since Kors is preparing to show a spring/summer collection (our reporter Emily Cronin would later describe it as ‘upbeat, clean and totally Kors’), it seems fitting to ask the designer what his summer essentials are? So begins the list…

‘Well, of course, you know, it pays to have someone you love with you at all times. It’s a year-round essential. Whenever I can have my husband with me – we work together, we travel together.

‘White Jeans! I have to say white jeans are a must: suddenly, if you’re a woman you’re Jackie Kennedy, if you’re a man, you’re Aristotle Onassis. It’s that easy; they’re glamorous but they’re practical at the same time.

‘Great aviator sunglasses, especially if you travel a lot. You know, put them on when you get off the plane and you’ll have an Angelina Jolie moment. They are summer essentials, and year-round essentials.

‘And healthy skin; at the end of the day healthy skin is the biggest essential year-round, but come summer the idea of being able to look like you have a glow – that’s so great.’

Incidentally, this year Kors added a range of three beauty collections to his empire: Glam, Sexy and Sporty, encompassing the three types of women he designs for. You can choose to be one or all three via a change of lipstick or a spritz of perfume. But what’s next for the small but perfectly formed collections?

‘The interesting thing is that I always say whatever we do, we do things that answer questions; that are solution bringers. I wanted to make the whole process easy for people, so you know that with the change of a lip, the change of a nail, the change of a blush, you have a change of an attitude. So, obviously we can play around with additional colours, but I’m not suddenly going to turn into a skincare guru. It’s not what I do and there are people who do that better.

‘I’m really all about transformation; transformation and wellbeing. Hopefully that’s what I bring to fashion and what we will continue to bring to beauty.'

See the Michael Kors spring/summer 2014 collection

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