Michael Kors is stepping up its collaborations to engage a wider audience with its network. The latest is with luxury Italian sportswear brand Ellesse, known for its innovative apparel designed for the court and the slopes.

 

The 24-piece capsule collection sports the iconic logos of both brands, melding them into a unique, animated graphic pattern, and went on sale earlier this week at MichaelKors.com.

Kors celebrated the latest collaboration with Emily Ratajkowski as host. She was also one of the stars of the campaign at a very New York location, Bar SixtyFive, the highest outdoor bar in New York City. The party followed an exclusive shopping experience with Ratajkowski at the Michael Kors store in Rockefeller Center.

The designer said in a statement that Ratajkowski’s self-assurance made the casting choice easy.

«When you wear these clothes, it’s about feeling confident, and I think Emily, in particular, represents that. She owns her narrative. I’ve known her for a long time, and I think she’s inspiring a lot of women to own their story and wear what feels right for them. I love that about her,» Kors said.

He is most proud of the collaborative nature of the collection. «The design process was like a good tennis match. There was a lot of back and forth, tweaking each brand’s iconic pieces and creating something new,» he added.

Kors said he first encountered the Italian lifestyle brand while working in a pro tennis club store as a teenager. He found the European aesthetic expressed with American athleticism intriguing. Not to mention it was super chic.

«The two sports that always seemed glamorous and sexy to me were tennis and skiing. Especially in the 1970s, when you think of a fast-paced, jet-setting life,» she remarked.

Anyone familiar with Kors’ lifestyle knows that he is a globetrotter in the most stylish places; Capri is at the top of the list. His ad campaigns are also famous for it. His personal tastes aside, he also knows it’s a great way to reinforce the brand in Europe, a market that has proven to have more of a presence than Asia.

According to Statista.com, EMEA accounted for 20.76% of Capri Holdings Limited’s global revenue of $2920 million in 2021. This compares to 63.92 % in the Americas and 15.32 % in Asia.

Ellesse is an Italian heritage sportswear brand found in the finest tennis clubs and on the most stylish courts, making it nostalgic for European audiences.

The collection with graphic logos also appeals to the hip-hop audience, whose logomania kept many luxury brands like Gucci relevant when all other products had declined. Ratajkowski appeared in the campaign alongside Brooklyn rap musician Jay Critch, seamlessly blending the tastes of luxury and streetwear.

On the 40th anniversary of his brand, Kors chose to collaborate with an up-and-coming American/Jamaican designer duo, Ashley Cimone and Moya Annece of Ashya, on two handbag styles for the brand imagined in MK Signature log.

«Anniversaries make you think about both the past and the future,» Kors commented on the project.

«I started my business in New York City in 1981, and now I find it very exciting to be able to turn the spotlight on the next generation of designers working here in New York City. When I first saw Ashley and Moya’s work at Ashya, their thoughtfulness and unique point of view immediately impressed me. I approached them about doing a collaboration that would merge our sensibilities, and I’m thrilled with how the collaboration has come together,» he opined.

While supporting the newcomers in this important milestone, the brand gets to ally itself with a fashionable indie brand, giving it credibility. The young designers get a boost from a major global luxury brand and the power that comes with it. It’s like the relationship between Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat: the veteran teams up with the new rising star.

Not to miss out on any market positioning or crowds, Kors also partnered with the 007 franchise for the 25th installment of James Bond’s adventures with the launch of «No Time To Die.»

He designed three styles: the Bond Bancroft, the Bond Carryall and the Bond Duffle. The Bancroft model carries a special plaque that reads MKC X 007 and is worn by Naomie Harris’ character, Moneypenny, in the film.

«Jet-set glamour, sophistication, speed and energy are words that come to mind when we think of the world of James Bond. They are also at the core of our brand DNA. This collaboration is truly the perfect marriage of fashion and film,» he concluded.

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