So, this is strengthening the brand—in line, we suspect, with their acquisition of the now one-name Versace. One lian to another lian aside, Michael Kors is not exactly the label of exquisite luxury although, to be fair, they have tried. Now that the optics associated with luxury fashion have shifted, it looks like Mr Kors is moving away from his post-Celine-years high style (“luxury sportswear”‚ as he calls it) for something everyone else is doing with gusto: blare your name as if your life depends on it.
This photo and others of the sub-brand called #MKGO (launched in July) were recently posted on the brand’s IG page with one image accompanied by the comment, “Spell it out.” Oh, is that what they’re doing now? Because we, the masses, can’t give the letters to that name? Just as Alexander Wang did when he collaborated with H&M because the denizens similarly need four-letter monikers spelled out loud and clear for them? Or, if you go back earlier, Dior?
#MKGO, as it turns out, is “inspired by the insouciance of early 1990’s New York street style”, according to the brand’s marketing fluff. This second drop is called Bold. There is nothing insouciant about a brand name screaming out in bold, sans-serif font but, perhaps, versus some Italian brands that are louder, this is nonchalant. But, at the risk of imitating a troll, this is not just unexciting, this is insipid. If not, what do you call the use of unmissable, self-affirming family name to sell lacklustre clothes, footwear, and accessories? Narcissistic? Vainglorious? Insecure? All three?
One bag, the Mott, is emblazoned—in the colour of gold, no less—with the word “cool” (replacing what would have been MK). We hazard a guess: a lesson in antonyms (since you asked, what is the opposite of Kors?), or euphemisms (a nice way of saying blah?). Is this not quite like businesses who are so desperate to be world-class, they describe themselves as such? If your customers disassociate you with cool, calling yourself cool doesn’t make you so. Not even when Anna Wintour wears you. This is, simply put, crude.
Such an approach to product design could, of course, be attributed to the prevalent culture of putting oneself socially in the most delightful setting, using the most self-validating terms. On IG, a bag visibly named “cool” could save you from calling yourself that in the comment line. Michael Kor’s use of the hashtag preceding MKGO (MK go?) is consistent with how Instagrammers love making their text unreadable by the excessive use of hashtagged descriptions. In other words, very Millennial-friendly.
It is not clear yet where Michael Kors intends to take #MKGO other than bank on the ‘logomania’ currently not loosening its gripping of the fashion world (or, from the first collection, Graffiti—the tired standby designers of a certain vintage turn to when doing ‘young’). But, given the main brand’s moving-no-where designs, who knows if it can go the distance.
#MKGO Bold is in store. Photos: Michael Kors