Michael Kors's passion for fashion was founded on childhood shopping trips to Long Island malls with his mother Joan. Inspired by mom's casual elegance, Kors launched his first collection of sumptuous sportswear in 1981, after short stints as a salesman at trendy boutique Lothar's and design student at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology
. Kors established himself as the king of relaxed glamour in the mid-90s when his polished and preppy clothes nailed the spirit of the times. From 1997 to 2003, he was appointed creative director of French ready-to-wear house Céline
, where his jet set leisurewear turned the fashion house around. He launched his own successful label in 2002 and now dresses celebrities and presidential wives alike. Since 2004, Kors has been known for his role as a judge on Project Runway.
"We all own too many clothes, so fashion today is not so much about what you need, but what you want."