Michael Kors’ (inset) new shop on Michigan Avenue
Early in his career, Michael Kors held a trunk show at the Bendel’s store at 900 North Michigan Avenue. Some two decades later, things have come full circle: That storied address is now the location of his Collection boutique, the Midwest flagship for Kors’s luxury line. “Generations of Chicago women have been wearing my clothes,” says Kors, one of the most popular American sportswear designers—an esteem that has only grown since he began lending his quippiness as a judge on Project Runway.
The new Collection shop is Kors’s second outpost in Chicago. (His first, a more affordable Lifestyle store, opened in 900 North in October 2008.) Finds include a red one-shoulder jersey dress with a hammered gold accent on the halter ($1,195), a mink vest ($3,000), an architectural petal skirt in gray wool ($895), and everyday separates, such as a knit shrug ($695) and stretch jeans ($225). In addition to women’s clothing, the boutique carries handbags, shoes, belts, sunglasses, watches, and fragrances.
In the meantime, season seven of Project Runway airs in January on Lifetime. The show returns to New York with Kors and Nina Garcia back on the regular judging panel (they were sorely missed in season six, when their day jobs interfered with filming). Kors says the show has brought a new audience to his brand: teens. “If you are 16, there’s going to be something you can afford, like a great T-shirt for $75,” he says.
For all of his fame and red-carpet glory, Kors continues to design for real women (the store carries sizes 0 to 14). He doesn’t even turn up his nose at the word often applied to Chicago style. “I don’t think ‘practical’ is a bad word. I think it’s a good word.” He adds that he likes the sleekness of the city’s style. “Chicago is all about clean lines. You see it in the architecture, and you see it in the fashions. If I go to a black tie in Chicago, there’s always a sleekness. You can’t dress up like a birthday cake here.”
WHERE Michael Kors Collection, 900 Shops, 1st floor, 900 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-587-3600, michaelkors.com
PRICE RANGE $95 sunglasses up to women’s ready-to-wear for $3,000
EXTRAS personal shoppers available in-store
PARKING the 900 Shops Self-Park garage. A $10 purchase at any mall shop brings the parking price down to $12 for three hours or less.
HOURS Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Photography: Courtesy of Michael Kors