A pandemic couldn’t stop Michael Kors from celebrating the 40th anniversary of his eponymous brand, Michael Kors Collection. On Tuesday morning, the all-American designer debuted a runway film starring a laundry list of names who’ve dominated the runway for roughly two decades, starting with Shalom Harlow. Alex Wek, Carolyn Murphy, Helena Christensen, Karen Elson, Liya Kebede, and, of course, Naomi Campbell paraded down 45th Street, outside of the Shubert Theatre. Joining them were a who’s who of today’s stars, including Bella Hadid, Lineisy Montero, Paloma Elsesser, Alton Mason, Julia Nobis, Dilone, Adut Akech, Precious Lee, Soo Joo Park, Vittoria Ceretti, Irina Shayk, and Ashley Graham. (Say that 10 times fast.) Meanwhile, Rufus Wainright offered renditions of classics like “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”
Kors also called upon a different type of all-star, seizing the opportunity to highlight another of his passions: Broadway. (It’s laid dormant since the start of the pandemic, though New York mayor Bill de Blasio has promised a reopening by September.) Kors has made a donation to the Actors Fund and called on actors and stage vets like Kristin Chenoweth, Marisa Tomei, Debra Messing, Bette Midler, Alan Cumming, Bernadette Peters, Mj Rodriguez, and Sutton Foster to urge others to do the same. (The nonprofit seeks to provide a safety net for performers and behind-the-scenes workers in entertainment and the performing arts.)
Kors hallmarks peppered the collection, like camel, trenches, 10-ply cashmere, and coats worn atop bare legs. So did explicit references to the designer’s archives: Sixteen of the 64 looks were reissues from Kors’s past. Lest you weren’t aware that Christy Turlington, for example, originally wore Hadid’s thigh-skimming scarlet dress, the designer topped each off with bar codes that offer a deep dive into Kors history, with ‘90s tidbits and original runway footage.
Really, though, Kors is looking towards the future, when he’s predicting everyone will revel in getting overdressed. “I was really thinking about the joy in getting dressed up and stepping out for a night on the town,” he said in a statement. Even if it’s just to grab a hamburger.