Michael Kors - Judge
Kors began his career in fashion at the age of 19 designing and merchandising a collection for the renowned boutique Lothar's in New York City. The success of these clothes caught the attention of the fashion press prompting Kors to strike out on his own. In 1981 the Michael Kors label was formed; his first women's collection was launched at Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, amongst other stores. Since his collection was established, it has never strayed from Kors' initial vision of chic, luxurious American sportswear.
In 2001, Kors launched accessories under his collection label. Today, the line includes a full range of women's handbags, shoes, belts and eyewear. In January 2002, the company launched a full scale men's collection in response to the critical acclaim received by a capsule menswear line launched in 1997.
In fall 2004, Kors unveiled Michael Michael Kors, to an unprecedented launch in over 350 doors nationwide. The Michael Michael Kors labels include women's ready to wear, swimwear and accessories including handbags, small leathergoods, belts and shoes; as well as eyewear and timepieces for both men and women.
Kors' first signature fragrance for women, ‘Michael Kors' was launched in September of 2000. Following the success of the women's fragrance, in September of 2001 Kors launched his signature men's fragrance. In spring 2005, the company launched its latest fragrance, ‘island Michael Kors' which won the 2006 Fifi award for best bath & body collection. "Island Michael Kors" has spawned two limited edtions, "Island Michael Kors Fiji" and "Island Michael Kors Hawaii".
Michael Kors collection flagship boutiques are located in the United States on Madison Avenue in New York, at the Americana Manhasset in Manhasset, New York and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California; international boutiques are located in Hong Kong and Dubai. The first freestanding Michael Michael Kors store opened in Asia at the landmark shopping center in Hong Kong in April of 2005. In November of 2006 a boutique containing both collection and Michael Michael Kors opened at the galleria east in Seoul, Korea.
Celebrities who have worn Kors' clothes include Jennifer Lopez, Charlize Theron, Mary J. Blige, Liv Tyler, Ellen Pompeo, Madonna, Barbara Streisand, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelica Huston, Kate Bosworth, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Hudson, and René Russo, whom Kors worked with on the wardrobe for the 1999 remake of the "Thomas Crown Affair".
Kors received DuPont's "First American Original" award in 1983, and the Elle/Cadillac fashion award for excellence in 1995. In July, 1996 he was named by Vogue magazine as part of the ‘new establishment' – and referred to as "one of the most influential designers of the decade". In June of 1999, Kors received the most prestigious award in the fashion industry – the CFDA fashion award for womenswear designer of the year, followed by the menswear designer of the year award in 2003. In June of 2001, 2005, 2006 & 2007, Kors was one of three nominees for the accessories designer of the year award.