Michael Kors In Conversation with Alina Cho
With Alina Cho at Singapore’s School of the Arts. Photo: Getty

On the occasion of Michael Kors’ newest flagship opening at the Mandarin Gallery- his largest in Southeast Asia- fashion veteran Alina Cho interviewed the designer at the School of the Arts Singapore. Here are 10 interesting things we learned from their conversation:

  • On his personality type: I’m a laidback type A. I’m one extreme or the other.

On his uniform look: Once I started my business, I was so busy and constantly thinking about what other people were going to look like. So I finally made a decision that I didn’t want to have to think about what I was wearing. I really want to spend my time thinking about everyone else.

On being a Project Runway judge: I was definitely not a fan of reality television. To me, reality television was when people ate bugs. I was concerned because fashion is really something that I love and I didn’t want anyone to make fun of the hard work that goes into fashion. But 10 seasons on, Project Runway has shown people all around the world this amazing alchemy that fashion is.

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SINGAPORE - NOVEMBER 14: American designer, Michael Kors poses for a photo as he puts the name plaque on the Dendrobium Michael Kors, an orchid that was named after him at the National Orchid Garden on November 14, 2016 in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images for Michael Kors)
With the dendrobium Michael Kors, at the Botanic Gardens. Photo: Getty

On designing for Céline and Michael Kors: I had no idea what kind of endurance it would take. You’re also competing with yourself which is the oddest thing in the world. You finish one fashion show in one city, then you jump on a plane and you go to the next city. I’m like a dad, I want both kids to be super talented, super successful and great looking.

On See Now, Buy Now: For the last 2 seasons, we’ve done very select pieces from the runway show that you could buy in the States on our website and in our New York store, and that’s for a small group of fashionistas. But ultimately, there is still something to be said for anticipation. I like anticipation. I think it’s important.

On his hypothetical biopic: There’s the comedy that I think will be a big box office hit, Will Farrell would play me. If it’s more sexy and moody, it’s got to be Daniel Craig.

On his business philosophy: Regardless of the amount of stores we have now versus when I started, my thought process as a designer is the same. I’ve never designed anything for just the photograph, for just the image. If I don’t actually see someone wearing it, or using it, I feel that it’s dead in the water.

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Kendall Jenner in a look from Kors' spring 2017 runway. Photo: Getty
Kendall Jenner in a look from Kors’ spring 2017 runway. Photo: Getty

On overcoming tough times in the 90s: You can’t take away from a creative person is their gut instinct. Don’t look over your shoulder. Don’t look at the other guys just do what’s right for you and what’s right for your customers.

On why he chose Singapore as the first store in South-east Asia to feature his menswear: Singapore has got this incredible mixture of people, both local and global. Women have long known the power of wearing something and what it portrays about you to the world. And now it’s a whole new world for guys. Men used to have their work clothes versus their weekend clothes. We now know that men are looking for versatility.

On Kendall Jenner’s quitting Instagram: Kendall is hardworking, smart and beautiful but she really works very, very hard. I think it’s just overwhelming at a certain point. Who knows if she’s going to stay on Instagram permanently, but I think she’s giving herself a break. A cleanse.

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Check out BAZAAR Singapore’s chat with Kors below:

By Debby Kwong and Shona Menon