New York documentarian director, Alison Chernick debuted her seven minute mini-film ‘A Portrait | The Michael Kors Mini-Documentary’ about the personal and professional background of designer Michael Kors on Thursday, timed with the launch of YouTube’s new fashion vertical channel.
Encouraging fashion people to smile more, Michael Kors takes us on an upbeat journey through his upbringing in Merrick, Long Island, as the “only child in a family of very, very outspoken women,” he says referring to his mother, aunt and grandmother whose “simple and sporty” style, “bohemian hippy princess” look and “over-the-top glamour,” respectively, prompted his interest in fashion. “When I said I wanted to be a designer there were hosannas around the room,” admits Kors.
Bergdorf Goodman’s fashion director-president, Dawn Mello, is credited with inspiring the launch of Kors’ own label after admiring his age 19 work in a nearby Fifth Avenue fashion boutique Lothar’s. Chernick does a superb job of capturing the grit and glam of 70s New York and the centrality of Michael Kors in that scene.
Bronwyn Cosgrave, writing for THR, reminds readers of what’s left out of the film, necessitated by its short length. Kors isn’t credited sufficiently for transforming Celine into an aspirational brand. There’s no mention of the financial struggles Michael Kors endured until Hong Kong tycoon, Silas Chou, invested in his brand in 2003. (It went public in 2011). The designers work on ‘Project Runway’ is also absent.
In a lovely coincidence with the YouTube debut of the short documentary, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge wore a Michael Kors MICHAEL dress on George and Charlotte’s first day of school.