2013 September 5

Kors Of The Earth

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Anna Wintour, Michael Kors, Hilary Swank Anna Wintour, Michael Kors, Hilary Swank
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(NEW YORK) What’s considered the true launch of New York Fashion Week these days? The Couture Council of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s benefit luncheon at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theatre has our vote. This year Michael Kors followed in the footsteps of designers such as Karl Lagerfeld and Oscar de la Renta as the latest recipient of the 2013 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion on Wednesday. The event began with cocktails (we passed on that!) on the theatre’s terrace overlooking Lincoln Center before guests were ushered into the theater’s promenade for a three-course luncheon.

Coming out to celebrate the beloved American designer were a few of his VIP friends including his tablemate Anna Wintour, husband Lance Lepere, Hamish Bowles, Stefano Tonchi, Linda Fargo, Simon Doonan, Amy Fine Collins, Dennis Basso, Nina Garcia, Leonard Lauder, Ariel Foxman, Julie Macklowe, Iris Apfel, Fern Mallis, Doutzen Kroes, Michelle Smith, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Gillian Miniter, Iman, Ashley Baker, BryanBoy, Reem Acra, Zang Toi, and Ken Downing, to name a few.

Kamie Lightburn and Jieun Wax, the luncheon chairs, were the first speakers and introduced Dr. Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at FIT. “Every time you see one of Michael’s advertisements, you just want to be that woman – so chic, so glamorous, jet-setting around the world in her sunglasses – and in the company of a handsome, glamorous man,” Steele said. “So thank you, Michael, for all you do for the women of the world!”

Dr. Joyce Brown, president of FIT, announced the 2013 Michael Kors Scholarship winner, third-semester student Kim Nguyen. After a Cobb salad with organic chicken, applewood smoked bacon, and Great Hill blue cheese was served, actress Hilary Swank introduced her pal Kors. Among her sweet sentiments about the designer? “[Michael] is open, curious, enthusiastic, optimistic, he’s real. That’s rare. That’s so much more attractive than any design could be. When you combine that with his gift and talent and craft! To know Michael is to love him. He’s the king of American sportswear.”

After a standing ovation, a humble Kors (who went to school at FIT) thanked the school and talked about his time there. “My friends and I walked around the FIT campus like we were on a runway,” he recalled. “We wore the craziest things every day. It was a constant fashion experiment. I wore diaper pants! Yes, diaper pants. I wore three pairs of leg warmers! That’s the whole point of being that age. You have to try something new. Experiment and keep on experimenting.” It was his final few words that brought the crowd to their feet once again. “When people say to me, ‘What is it like to be where you are?’ ‘When did you know you made it?’ I always think the moment you think you’ve made it, you’re done. Guess what! I’m not done and I’m so honored to be receiving this award!” Well deserved, sir.

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