Michael Kors

Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.

Michael Kors has built one of the most successful luxury juggernauts in fashion history with a DNA that's rooted in a glamorous jet set lifestyle. Founded in 1981, the brand grew swiftly following an investment from apparel moguls Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll in 2004. The initial public offering of stock in Michael Kors, in December 2011, was one of the largest and most successful fashion IPOs ever, valuing the brand at $3.8 billion and raising about $1 billion to fund the company's global expansion.

Michael Kors, increasingly coveted by women from Sante Fe to Shanghai, is going after guys. The design house, which reported yet another quarter of growing sales and profits, said yesterday that it sees potential for up to 500 company-owned stores selling nothing but menswear. More immediately, one floor of its soon-to-open Manhattan flagship store will only have clothes aimed at men. The company will also launch a new cologne for men next month, along with a "thrilling TV spot reminiscent of an action movie." 

Forbes contributor and retail consultant Robin Lewis has up and declared the imminent death of the Michael Kors brand (originally published on the author's site The Robin Report). His reasoning lies in the growing ubiquity of the brand's product. In Lewis' words, "wonderful becomes awful," when ubiquity strikes. "The brand stands for nothing for anybody — everywhere," said Lewis. He cited Michael Kors' widespread distribution and products priced at every level in order to hit every 

Go big or go home seems to be the theme of Michael Kors’ retail expansion plan. Between opening more freestanding stores and shops-in-shop and launching a new e-commerce website, Kors has big plans for his brand throughout the next year or so. According to WWD, the company plans to open 45 stores in North America in fiscal 2015, as well as 10 in Japan. John D. Idol, the chairman and CEO of Michael Kors, said the brand also plans to open more retail stores in various airports. 

Excitement abounds at Macy's. The company reported total sales of $27.9 billion, comparable store sales grew 2.8 percent (which includes sales from licensed departments), earnings rose 19 percent to $3.86 billion. The stores look terrific. Renovation of the Herald Square store is about 85 percent complete and is brimming with name brand vendors, from Gucci to Vuitton, Burberry to Longchamps, Michael Kors to Coach, Hermes to Tumi and Tom Ford to Bobbi Brown. The store has a new look, with updated departments such as the new shoe floor.

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