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Michael Kors celebrates 40th anniversary with homage to Broadway

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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courtesy of Michael Kors by Janice Yim

Designer Michael Kors, a fan of the theatre, turned the lights on Broadway to celebrate his 40th anniversary with an autumn/winter 2021 show.

Staged in the heart of Midtown under the lights of the Shubert Theater with a musical soundtrack performance by singer-songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright, models including Naomi Campbell and Helena Christensen walked the makeshift catwalk down 45th Street in New York.

This was a showbiz affair, with glamorous, glittering, red carpet-worthy gowns, sharp tailoring, head-to-toe monochrome looks, splashes of bold scarlet, and outerwear delights including oversized puffers, patent leather coats, double-breasted jackets and faux fur styles.

The designer also called on his famous supermodel friends to celebrate his anniversary with the show featuring the likes of Adut Akech, Bella Hadid, Karen Elson, Carolyn Murphy, Ashley Graham, Shalom Harlow, Bella Hadid, and Alek Wek, alongside Broadway A-listers including Billy Porter, Bette Midler, Rosario Dawson, Debra Messing, and Alan Cumming.

courtesy of Michael Kors by Janice Yim

Commenting on his autumn/winter 2021 show, Michael Kors said in a statement: “For my 40th-anniversary collection, I was really thinking about the joy in getting dressed up and stepping out for a night on the town. Whether you’re going to the office, having a casual dinner in the neighbourhood or are in fact ready to go to a party again, this collection is all about making every moment a special occasion and feeling confident, glamorous and upbeat.

“There’s a sense of timelessness and big-city optimism that has been a linchpin of Michael Kors since the very beginning—a yin-and-yang balance between opulence and simplicity, something that’s laid-back and at the same time luxurious.”

Michael Kors re-issues archive looks for autumn/winter 2021 40th anniversary collection

courtesy of Michael Kors by Janice Yim

Michael Kors staples were present from camel cashmere to houndstooth check, leopard prints, and pinstripes, as well as lots of sequins and cut-out detailing. Eveningwear underpinned this collection with black sequinned evening trench coats to a super short tuxedo wrap dress, a sexy white silk georgette kimono gown, and a black chantilly lace gown.

But it was the final three looks that shined through - gold, silver and black slinky sequinned maxi dresses worn under one of Kors’ floor-length wool coats lined in the same sequins.

courtesy of Michael Kors by Janice Yim

Other highlights included the “shrunken mini suit” a three-piece gingham skirt suit with super high slits, while daywear options were shown in the form of shift dresses, form-fitting high neck dresses and even a cashmere cold-shoulder knit, maybe inspired by Dolly Parton’s vaccination look, worn with a slinky pencil skirt with a thigh-high slit.

courtesy of Michael Kors by Janice Yim

There was also a nod to the past, with the autumn/winter 2021 collection featuring archive-inspired garments, which will be labelled with QR codes inside, allowing customers to find out the story behind the item. The specially curated MK40 Reissue Capsule includes the shiny red coat worn by Bella Hadid and come autumn, customers will be able to scan the code and view Cindy Crawford wearing the original piece.

courtesy of Michael Kors by Janice Yim

Kors also used the show to support the theatre industry, with the designer and company donating to The Actors Fund, a national organisation that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan.

“The theatre is the heartbeat and the pulse of New York City and an endless source of inspiration for me, so to see Broadway shut down has been really heartbreaking,” added Kors. “It’s an honour and a dream come true to celebrate my 40th at Shubert Theatre and to have someone as brilliantly talented as Rufus Wainwright perform live. This show is my fantasy night out.”

courtesy of Michael Kors by Janice Yim
Michael Kors