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Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore: What’s the message behind the latest collection?

Michael Kors: I think it’s really all about this blend of yin and yang, of feminine and masculine, soft and tailored, elegant but rustic. Why not have it all?

HB: And the key points driving the collection?

MK: Well, we kept thinking about a lot of romantic pieces, so there are romantic blouses, soft skirts, fuller dresses, ruffles, things that are slit so that when you walk, you get the legs coming out. And then there are the boyish tailored pieces, lightweight and soft, and we put it on the girls. I wanted all of it to have an elegance but it’s earthier. It’s not about tight-fitted dresses—definitely more feminine.

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HB: You’ve done so much to define the Michael Kors girl. And she’s been on this journey with you all these years. Looking back, how have the both of you changed, if at all?

MK: I think what’s happened is the world has gotten smaller and also the rules have disappeared. You know, we wear sandals in the winter, we wear sequins to the office, we wear boots in the summer. And I’m curious and I think she’s also more curious than ever before. It’s a combination of those two things, you know, it’s good. We were in Italy and I met a 10-year-old girl. 10! She had a Michael Kors handbag and watch. I never imagined that we’d have people who’d be 10 yet look sophisticated wearing Michael Kors. And then we have customers in their 80s too. I think we now about have customers of all ages, nationalities and every body type.

HB: Any do’s and don’ts when it comes to design?

MK: I never like showing something tight with tight. It’s always a problem. It never works.

HB: Why so?

MK: I think you have to balance it out. If you’re wearing a short tight dress, give it some long sleeves. You know it when you’re wearing something and you look miserable in it. If you see a woman who keeps pulling up her dress, it’s the wrong dress. If you see a woman in a shoe she can’t walk in, it’s the wrong shoe. If the handbag’s so heavy that you can’t lift it, don’t use the bag! I think it’s about being honest.

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HB: if there’s something from this collection that women should buy, what do you think it would be?

MK: Only one?

HB: Just one to make things tough for you.

MK: Well, I’d say a soft poet’s blouse—beautiful, sliding, sexy and feminine.

By Gerald Tan