Following his exit from the New York Fashion Week roster, Michael Kors makes his off-schedule comeback to the Big Apple with a smashing 40th anniversary runway show. The highly anticipated Fall/Winter 2021 presentation took place at New York’s iconic theater district, presented via a multi-layered digital experience across the brand’s digital and social platforms.
As a lifelong New Yorker and self-professed theater enthusiast, Kors dedicated the show to shine a light on Broadway, which has been badly hit by COVID-19. About 87,000 employees in the performing arts and entertainment industry have yet to get back to work since the onset of the pandemic.
Some of Broadway’s biggest names – including Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters, Judith Light, Rosario Dawson, Billy Porter and Renée Elise Goldberry – opened the show with a message encouraging fans to donate to The Actors Fund, which serves as a safety net for members of the entertainment community. To get the ball rolling, the Michael Kors company and Kors himself will be making a donation to fund with hopes of getting Broadway back to business.
“When I was starting out at 21, I could never have imagined I’d be here, 40 years later, sharing my collection with the whole world,” Kors said. “I’ve been fortunate to do what I love my whole life, and I want to use this celebration to spotlight another institution that means a great deal to me, and that could use our support—the New York theater community. I’m grateful and excited to share this anniversary collection, and to continue celebrating the city that made me who I am.”
Lights, camera, action kicked off the proceedings outside Sardi’s and the Music Box Theater, highlighting the theme. Cue the diverse cast of supermodels parading in ultra-glamourous looks down 45th Street, with a special performance by Broadway star Rufus Wainwright setting the tone for the show.
Think icons of the ‘80s, ‘90s and today, who rose to fame along with the designer: Bella Hadid, Shalom Harlow, Helena Christensen, Liya Kebede, Karen Elson, Paloma Elsesser, Precious Lee, and Alek Wek, to name a few. Naomi Campbell had the honour of closing the star-studded show, clad in an all-black sequinned gown and maxi coat.
Not the outshined by these big names, the collection itself spelled glitz and glamour. Black and white city neutrals led the landmark lineup, interspersed with splashes of bright scarlet painting tailored coats, dresses and suits. Pinstripes, houndstooth, zebra and leopard prints ensued, followed by staple camel cashmeres, shearling coats and grey puffer coats.
Then came the high-gloss drama in the form of floor-length sequinned gowns, black-tie tuxedos and metallic dresses highlighting the timeless elegance loved by fans throughout the four decades of the designer’s career. If there was an audience in attendance, we’d imagine a standing ovation concluding the evening.
Discover the full collection in the gallery below.
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Photos: Michael Kors