2020 has changed many things in our lives, and the fashion industry has been transformed dramatically in a matter of months. This has seen more and more fashion houses break from the traditional Fashion Weeks and their regularly scheduled catwalk shows. Leading the way in this departure is Michael Kors, who debuted his Michael Kors Collection Spring Summer 2021 collection today through a multi-layered digital experience shared across his website and social media channels.
In a move dictated by his decision to eschew New York Fashion Week this year, Michael Kors decided to stage his runway show somewhere with personal meaning and chose New York’s Restoration Project community garden in the Bronx – just eight blocks from where Kors’s grandfather grew up.
“For me, this garden is the perfect culmination of the collection, which is all about the idea of nature in the city and finding balance in our lives,” says Michael Kors. “In the middle of urban New York, we crave green, and in fashion we crave texture and the idea of something that helps us feel better, the way this garden makes you feel better. So, it really was the perfect spot for the show.”
As for the clothes that were presented, the collection is a lesson in luxe simplicity. A clean, monochrome palette, asymmetric lines and relaxed tailoring in organic linen dominated the SS21 looks, each of which was paired with unfussy flat leather sandals and artisanal hand-woven bags. These looks were modelled by models of the moment including Alek Wek, Sabina Karlsson, and Grace Elizabeth, and were accompanied by a captivating medley of Carole King songs performed by Harlem-based American Idol winner, Samantha Diaz.
“I designed this season with more thought and more intent than anything I’ve ever done,” said Michael Kors of his line. “We were all forced to slow down this year, and I think we all started to appreciate things in a new way—suddenly, a flower blooming, a beautiful sunset, a walk along the river, these were things that brought us hope. I wanted to look at nature and rebirth through an urban lens.”
In support of the community where the collection was presented, Michael Kors has donated to the New York Restoration Project and another local charity, the Renaissance Youth Centre. The latter is South Bronx-based project which provides enrichment programmes aimed to empower local youth, from performing arts, to sports and educational assistance. The money donated by Michael Kors will support the organisation’s “Music on Wheels” initiative, which brings musical education to local schools that lack music programmes.
As well as the runway show and a music video from Samantha Diaz, the content accompanying the collection launch on the site will also include a documentary-style film directed by newcomer Haley Elizabeth Anderson. Entitled Up on the Roof, it immerses viewers in the mood and inspiration of the season – urban nature in all its glory.
The Spring/Summer 2021 Michael Kors Collection will be available to buy in February 2021.