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Designer Michael Kors visits St. Louis to talk fashion history

Designer Michael Kors visits St. Louis to talk fashion history


5 On Your Side sat down one-on-one with the family fashion name to discuss the St. Louis Fashion Fund and reclaiming the city's garment district.

ST. LOUIS The St. Louis Fashion Fund celebrates 10 years of activity. The group was formed to recover the city's garment districtwhich was one of the country's main fashion centers until World War II.

To mark this anniversary, the luxury designer Michael Kors came here with her husband, Lance LePère, originally from Belleville.

5 On Your Side's Annie Krall sat down one-on-one with the family fashion name to talk more about the legacy and history of fashion in St. Louis.

Kors told Krall that when he started judging the hit show “Project Runway” in 2004, he didn't think it would become so successful. Still, as Kors spoke to University of Washington students Monday at Graham Chapel, being a designer is a lot like baking a cake. Kors likened it to looking at a group of ingredients, having an idea, and creating something beautiful.

The designer spent much of the Q&A hour on campus discussing the launch of his iconic fashion line in the 1980s, sewing with his colleagues in the living room of his New York apartment.

“One of my seamstresses was a lady who had a beautiful British accent,” Kors explained to an audience of 850 people. “I had her answer the phone. So she was sewing and the phone would ring,” Kors said, imitating answering the phone. “Hello Michael Kors,” in a British accent that drew laughter and applause from the St. Louis congregation.

Originally from Shrewsbury and moderator, he has now entered the town's history. Derek Blasberg who was the first fashion manager on YouTube starting in 2018. He has now become a trendsetting trendsetter covering and working with the likes of Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lawrence, and St. Louis native Karlie Kloss.

“Fashion is a language and it’s how we communicate” Blasberg says 5 On your side. “We all say the same thing. We all put our pants on one leg at a time, but deciding what kind of pants, if it's pants, and if it's not pants? says a lot about who you are.”

“The St. Louis Fashion Fund highlighted the fact that you don't have to go to New York or Los Angeles to become a fashion designer,” Krall asked Kors. “What does this mean to you?”

“I think you can do this anywhere in the world,” Kors said. “If you have a good idea and you know how to market yourself on social media and get your ideas and creations out there, I think you could be in a small town in North Dakota.”

“We want to keep young creatives in St. Louis,” said Susan Sherman, co-founder of the St. Louis Fashion Fund. “We want them to build and grow their brands here. If we're not there to support them, if the investment isn't there, they'll go to the coast, to Nashville or Austin or many other places. “

Young creatives like Sydney Goldstein, a senior at Wash U and a New York native, wore her mother's 1995 Michael Kors jacket. One that the designer immediately recognized when he met Goldstein on Monday morning.

The multi-talented art and business student who helped organize the big campus show in tandem with the STL Fashion Fund celebration listened especially closely to Kors' advice on artistic opportunities here in St. Louis in the digital age.

“This has been my home for four years,” Goldstein said. “I will always have a place here and being a part of rebuilding this industry here has been special beyond words.”

St. Louis Mayor Tishuara Jones was also at the fashion event this week. She issued a proclamation declaring that April 1, 2024 would now be “Michael Kors Day in St. Louis.”

To get involved in other events or donate to the St. Louis Fashion Fund Click here.




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