TOO LOCAL TO BE LUXURY

Now that the holidays are over, let’s get to the ANNUAL Christmas controversy over the one brand that always has Twitter fingers up in arms: Michael Kors. 

The argument starts like this. Someone posts a Michael Kors Christmas gift that they LOVE, from someone who CARES about them. And some hater quotes or comments on the tweet saying they need to give it back because it’s too cheap and common to be considered an over-the-top gift. The interaction goes viral, and Michael Kors is back to trending. 

Commonality, prices, and out-of-date styles are the biggest contributing factors on both sides of the argument. Either Michael Kors is basic and your mans gotta get you the Birkin for you to know your worth, or it’s a thoughtful gift worthy of its name. Regardless of how anyone feels, I feel as though Michael Kors is, and will continue to be, a luxury fashion brand. So take that gift and rock it. 

Let’s talk money first. The relationship between money and fashion will be a challenging one until the end of time. Traditionally, clothes have always been an indicator of affluence; by the same hand, they have also been an indicator of poverty. Personally, I believe we have transcended both of these associations, especially because of the youth combining trends from all ends of the spectrum. However, luxury brands have still managed to control the market simply by the status of their labels. The association with wealth, regardless of the style, is prominent in the discussion of Michael Kors today. Michael Kors is a brand that ranges from $40 (on a good sale day) to several thousand. With categories including accessories, clothes, shoes, watches and more, not many brands can say that their prices vary on such a large scale. But with affordability comes availability, and that’s where I believe the public minimizes the brand’s exclusivity. What they fail to realize is that this range and long list of products is only a lucrative tool in the Kors powerhouse, and thus, doesn’t make the brand any less desirable. 

Michael Kors currently falls under Capri Holdings, along with Versace and Jimmy Choo (did I mention Michael founded Capri too?). It is a household American brand that has sustained its popularity since 1981. Kors clothing thrived on supermodels of the 80’s, the infamous 90’s, and all the way to present day. The connections within the brand and the fashion industry is a lot stronger than the assumptions “locals” have debated. With how quickly our world is changing, the longevity our youth isn’t used to likely allows them to dismiss the brand and move onto the next. However, that doesn’t exclude Michael Kors from purchasing one of the biggest luxury fashion houses under his business. Or receiving consistent invites to the Met Gala. Attending the CFDA Awards with the biggest models. Leading campaigns with the world’s top models. Or even dressing the biggest stars on the red carpets. These things don’t usually happen to non-luxury brands, I wonder what makes Michael Kors so different?

Now, while these facts are telling, there are other contributing factors to the growing decline in popularity amongst the youth. The range in designs is good in the sense that many people can find a style that pertains to them. However, some of the older, cheaper designs are outdated. Since MK fails to stand out so much in their present day retail than they did back then, it was boxed in range. Most people don’t try to see its modern looks, or how they remain relevant in today’s fashion culture, but only see what once was. And that’s what is creating this division between whether or not owning or receiving a Michael Kors gift is worthy. While they are creating stand-out runway pieces, the things that people find affordable aren’t stand-out-ish enough to create buzz amongst the youth, whom this price range would target the most. 

The name Michael Kors does receive recognition, but the weight of that name has been torn down more so by word of mouth than proof itself. Popularity in this era is as easy to give as it is to take away. And in this case, we can thank social media for that. The brand has years of quality leather goods, craftsmanship, and thousands of designs to its name. All in all, if you are able to make whatever you get from them look good on you, then that’s all that matters. Fashion is accessible to everyone; price does not need to play a role in how well someone can dress. So for the person who is receiving or gifting someone Michael Kors for the upcoming Valentines day, do so with pride. There’s weight to the name, and newer, trendier designs to choose from. Don’t let the traditional designs be the stereotype for the public perception of what this brand can produce. Luxury is quality, and Michael Kors is quality. 

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