Global fashion giant Michael Kors announced Tuesday that it had agreed to buy Versace, signaling an intention to move deeper into the international big league after snapping up shoemaker Jimmy Choo last year.
The company, rooted in iconic American fashion, but headquartered in London, will pay $2.1 billion for the Italian luxury giant, a statement said.
Here are five things to know about Michael Kors:
The creative vision is Michael Kors, the Long Island born creative director who founded the label in 1981 after dropping out of fashion school.
He has flirted with billionaire status and is still supremely wealthy. For 10 years, he was a judge on television show “Project Runway,” where his acerbic commentary brought him nationwide fame.
From 1997 to 2004, he was women’s ready-to-wear designer at French fashion house Celine.
New York state of mind
Michael Kors New York fashion week shows are strictly A-list, welcoming the likes of Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Blake Lively.
His clean, urban silhouette has dressed the likes of Michelle Obama, such as the famous sleeveless shift in her first official portrait as first lady — and Melania Trump.
But with the help of an initial investment from LVMH, where he was creative director at Celine, he relaunched and got back on track.
Like its main American rival Coach, which has now been rolled into company Tapestry, Michael Kors is high-end but not at the level of luxury as Versace.
MK bags are popular with working women, selling for between $200 to $600. Much of its mass appeal comes from its accessories — bags, glasses, footwear and scent.
John Idol joined Michael Kors in 2003 and has been instrumental in its turn around, becoming chairman in 2011, the year the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange.
It has presided over an aggressive expansion, before being forced to retrench over falling sales and in 2017 announce the closure of 125 stores.
Announcing its first quarter fiscal 2019 results in August, the company estimated total revenue for the year at $5.12 billion, including $580-590 from Jimmy Choo, compared to $4.7 billion in 2017 and $800 million in 2011.
By late June, the company has 1,000 Michael Kors locations around the world and more than 252 Jimmy Choo outlets. —AFP