Michael Kors reflects on his fashion career, as he celebrates his 40th anniversary collection

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(AP) — Michael Kors delivers “opulence with simplicity” for his 40th anniversary collection to raise funds for the New York theater industry.

The show was streamed on various social media platforms on Tuesday morning, with a live presentation from the designer, talking about his love of theater and why it was important to him to give support to the industry which has been hard hit by COVID-19 restrictions.

The Fall/Winter 2021 collection was filmed in the New York theater district and cut together with a performance from Rufus Wainwright.

Speaking a few days before the livestream, Kors explained that live performance and live theater was such “a big part” of his life and inspiration for him.  

“And to see that just stop and all the talent that brings all of this live entertainment to us, just stop not being able to work. And we miss that sense of community. So, when we see a great piece of theater streamed in our homes, well, I’m happy to see it, but it’s not the same as seeing it live,” he said.

The collection was also inspired by how life has changed since restrictions were imposed.

“I think the concept of what is ‘special occasion’ changed for all of us,” says Kors.  

“So suddenly, you know, being able to eat outside, even if it was bitter, freezing cold. Well, I wanted to put on a really cute coat, and that was a special occasion, you know, shopping. Even if I ran into the hardware store, that was that was a special occasion. I think there was a sense of appreciation, but I really wanted this to be focused on the idea of stepping out again.”

“The fall winter collection starts to arrive in the stores in September. So, these are the clothes that will be right for you when I hopefully see that the world will be in a better place than we have been and that next new year, hopefully we’re able to celebrate. And I think everyone’s going to want to feel celebratory, get dressed up. When you are able to go back into the office, you’re going to want to look great. It won’t be fuzzy slippers and yoga pants, that’s for sure.”

Looking back on his 40 years in the fashion business, Kors still can’t believe he got attention at such an early age.

“Even though I look at myself and say, wow, I can’t believe people listened to me, I think it’s very engaging when a young person in their 20s is that committed to what they do. And I was I mean, I truly I slept under racks of clothing. I delivered everything on the subway. And, you know, you do what you need to do.”

The Michael Kors company will be making a donation to The Actors Fund, an organization that provides support for performing arts and entertainment professionals.

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