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Michael Kors: The Man Behind the Billions and Five Facts You Never Knew About Him

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Michael Kors has been a household name since its initial IPO in Dec. of 2011. Kors is planning 57 new stores in America. It’s now nearly impossible to go to a mall without seeing a woman carrying a Michael Kors purse. It’s a status symbol. Perhaps not as prestigious as a Louis Vuitton bag or a classic Chanel…yet.

Michael Kors isn’t actually Michael Kors; he had changed his name by the age of 12 from his birth name, Mark Anderson Jr. He’s said of the name change:

“As we all know, in fashion there’s only one Karl—I had a premonition.

Speaking, of course, of Karl Lagerfield, the head designer and creative director of the fashion house Chanel as well as Fendi.

That’s just a teaser to begin this list of things you didn’t know about the man that designed that purse on your arm. It will probably make you feel a bit more proud about spending $200+ on your bag.

1. Kors designed his mother’s wedding dress for her second wedding at the age of five. Yes, you read that. Five. He thought that his mother’s original dress had too many excess decorations on it. He told ABC about his problems with the original dress:

I was like…..I don’t know about the bows. Not so good. Clean it up…..And the next thing I knew, she was actually listening to me.”

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That’s a little Michael Kors and his mother in the dress that he helped her to change. It turned out pretty good, from the looks of it.

However, he wasn’t always so simple-minded when it came to fashion. Kors also told his mom, Joan Kors, she should be braver about her outfits. He told Harper’s Bazaar:

I was always pushing her,” he remembers of advising his mother, who favored low-key, simple fashions. “I was like, ‘What about hot pants? Think about marabou. What about palazzos?’”

2. When Kors was 11, he started designing clothes out of his parents’ Long Island basement. He called the establishment the Iron Butterfly. He sold homemade candles and leather pouches. Kors has said of his creative wares:

They sold out within a week.”

3. Michael Kors is a college dropout. He enrolled in New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology in 1977, but dropped out after only nine months. He’s said of his short college career:

“I was going out a lot. I frankly thought that Bianca Jagger’s birthday party [at Studio 54] was a great lesson.”

4. Michael Kors starred in a Lucky Charms commercial when he was just a wee little tyke. He was four years old when he thought that maybe acting might be for him. He took some acting lessons in Manhattan. He knew it wouldn’t turn out well. He’s said of his time acting:

“But I looked around my acting classes. And I thought to myself, ‘This isn’t gonna work…I’m gonna end up waiting tables.’”

Lucky for the fashion industry, Kors went back to his love of fashion after he dropped out of his acting classes. Here are a couple of stills of a four-year-old Kors in the commercial. Collective awwww.

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5. Michael Kors has a net worth of $1 billion. With a ‘b’. According to celebritynetworth.com, he earned that net worth by “designing classic American fashion for men and women.” That definition doesn’t really encompass all that Michael Kors stands for. Not only does he design runway fashion, he designs clothes that women on a budget can afford, he designs clothes for plus size women, and he designs clothing for men. He has designed multiple fragrances as well, for both men and women.

The man knows clothes. He knows what looks good on women, what will always look good on women, regardless of current trends.

Kors summed up fashion best when he said this:

Clothes are like a good meal, a good movie, great pieces of music.”

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