"My mother discovered a look 30 years ago, and it's fabulous," declared the fashion designer Michael Kors, who is himself prone to wearing...
“My mother discovered a look 30 years ago, and it’s fabulous,” declared the fashion designer Michael Kors, who is himself prone to wearing the same outfit — black jacket, black T-shirt and white pants — on a daily basis. I do that sometimes, but mostly because I am lazy.
Joan Kors is known, aside from being Michael’s mom, for her signature look: the ponytail, the glasses and the lipstick. She also favors black turtlenecks under black jackets. What is it they say? Like mother, like son? For the purposes of this column, which is a week late for Mother’s Day (oops), we shall say yes.
Ms. Kors, a former model and owner of a table-linen company, now works for Michael Kors as West Coast regional coordinator. I have no idea what this means, either, but the upshot is that she was at Nordstrom last week previewing Michael’s fall collection — in a word, “dogtooth” — and so I went. Here’s what happened next:
Q: What are you wearing? Michael Kors?
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A: Yes. I don’t wear color. I actually wore this suit on “Project Runway.” It was lovely. I just love Heidi.
Q: So did Michael inherit your sense of style?
A: We have the same taste. Sometimes we disagree on style. Our houses are the same: white walls, ivory upholstery. We have the same sheets; we have white sheets. Everything is black and white and ivory and camel. The only difference is, my tables are wood, and his tables are black.
Q: Does it ever get too close for comfort, working with your son?
A: No. We’re very close. He called me up and said, “You know, Mother, I was thinking. Nobody knows my clothes better than you do.” So I go to the stores and teach them the collection. It’s a very intense travel schedule.
Q: Well, the Michael Kors brand befits a jet-setter lifestyle. Do you travel together much?
A: We are exactly 20 years apart, so we celebrate major birthdays together. We have a big one coming up, his 50th and my 70th. He asked, “Mother, where do you want to go?” I don’t know.
Q: Have you really been wearing the same glasses and lipstick for 30 years?
A: Yes. I don’t wear makeup and it saved my skin. When I was a model, I couldn’t stand makeup and the fake eyelashes. I wear Vaseline Intensive Care on my face, and lipstick. I found these two lipsticks, the perfect undercoat and topcoat. They were two different brands, so I sent them to a company in New York and they made me a lipstick. It’s a deep coral color, perfect with my glasses.
Q: And what about the glasses?
A: I needed bifocals in 1980. Michael wasn’t making sunglasses [yet]. I would buy the same tortoise-shell frames every time. They told me they will eventually discontinue them, so I bought four pairs. I intend to wear them the rest of my life.
Q: So if they’re not by Michael Kors, who makes them?
A: They’re Ralph Lauren.
Girl About Town appears every Sunday in Northwest Life. Pamela Sitt: 206-464-2376 or firstname.lastname@example.org