Michael Kors in 24 Hours: 12 Splendas a day, 50 black t-shirts, 60 aviators…The designer shares his schedule with Bazaar.
6:15 A.M. First, I feed my cats, Bunny and Viola. They are feline alarm clocks. I named them after my madcap great-aunts. They turn into gymnasts and start leaping over us and jumping over our heads. I can’t remember the last time I set an alarm at home. Then I grab the newspapers. I read a lot of papers — too many. But I grew up waiting for the paper to be delivered, and I still am that way. I can hear it drop at the door, and the day begins. I actually like to crawl back into bed after I’ve fed the cats, who aren’t hungry. My husband, Lance [LePere], is a better sleeper than I am, so he’s probably still asleep at that point, in most instances. And I’ll kind of do my overview, just scan everything and see what’s going on in the world. If there are things that I really want to read intently, those I save for the end of the day.
8:00 A.M. If I do yoga, my instructor will come to the house. If I’m going to the gym, I’ll do Pilates. If it’s nice out, I’ll walk over to the river and take, like, a month to walk down to the Battery and back. I never shower before any of it. I shower after, and if I’m not working out, then it’s the last thing I do before I leave the house. I’m pretty low maintenance, I would have to say. I’m chamomile shampoo from Klorane. I have used it my whole life, and I think it’s every blond’s best friend. I use Kiehl’s moisturizer, Jergens tinted moisturizer for the face (it stretches the tan whenever we can’t get out of town), a little bit of lip balm from Creme de la Mer, and I’m out the door.
9:15 A.M. We don’t even make coffee; that’s too much for us. I am so boring. Every day I have a bialy with a little bit of butter on it delivered from Murray’s Bagels, and I don’t drink hot liquids at all, but I’m iced tea obsessed. So every day, no matter what the weather, it’s a large iced tea with three Splendas. Those three Splendas make all the difference. And lemon. Maybe on the weekend I might combine breakfast and lunch and get a little salmon on the bialy, but that’s about it. I definitely have a fashion uniform — that is an understatement. It is always something black and knitted with a crewneck. And then either dark jeans, white jeans, olive cargos, or chinos. The shoe changes. It can go from a black crocodile Tod’s driving loafer to a black New Balance sneaker that I have custom-made for me — all black on black on black. I probably have a good 15 pairs of New Balance in black, and I don’t always wear black. In the summer I’ll go to this dusty putty color. That’s my summer shoe. I’ve also found someone to custom-make crocodile Chucks. No one would know to look at it that I’m having fun with accessories, but I am. I change my color of aviator. That kind of indicates my mood. Like, the silver aviator if I’m feeling nasty, an olive aviator if I’m feeling sporty, and black if I don’t want to think about it. I have about 60 pairs.
10:00 A.M. The car picks us up at home. I’m definitely a man who loves his tote collection. I’ve learned not to carry a big one because I’m bringing things I don’t need. I have an L.L.Bean leather tote from the ’40s that’s small and really beaten-up and that I was very fortunate to find while I was vintage shopping here in New York. As soon as I saw it, I was like, Oh, my God. I can just throw my sunglasses in there, if I have papers I have to bring back and forth to the office, and you know, really not much else. I’m not one of those people who sit in the car talking on the phone. The car is my moment to kind of zone out before I jump into the day. And in New York, it’s great for people-watching. I count Michael Kors handbags on the street.
10:15 A.M. The only thing that’s always the same in my workday is that it is never the same. The only thing that stays consistent is that lunch out is not part of the Michael Kors day. The minute I walk in the office, my assistant will show me e-mails we have gotten, what phone calls have come through and slap another iced tea into my hand so I can feel like an Olsen. The iced tea is always there. I think when I quit smoking, the cup in my hand became my new cigarette, so to speak.
10:30 A.M. I’ll start with, say, a phone interview, then I could jump into a review looking at jewelrysamples and then into looking at prints that we are working on for the women’s collection. I think that kind of changing my head all the time, after over 30 years, is what keeps me interested and excited. If it was formulaic, I would probably be bored.
1:30 P.M. Lunch, however, is unbelievably formulaic. I have either sashimi every day or a salad from Chop’t. Four pieces of salmon, four pieces of tuna, and then I’ll have maybe a spicy tuna roll, and that’s lunch. If it’s a really lousy day, like one of those days that you never want to get out of bed, then I’ll say ‘To hell with it’ and have a hamburger. It’s always delivered in, and it’s always in the office. I probably eat lunch out, truly, four times a year. And I’ll always have four large iced teas a day. I’m caffeinated. By the time the afternoon comes, it’s kind of like, you know, telling the drunk at the bar it’s last call so, like, cut down on the caffeine, and then we switch to ice water and lemon when five o’clock rolls around.
2:15 P.M. Every day, no matter what, there is going to be a minimum of two design meetings. And there is always going to be something like deciding on models or reading copy for the catalog. I look at all of it. Or my display team will ask if I want to take a look at the new mannequins for Rockefeller Center. It’s a lot. I don’t know what to do with what I call a gray day. I either need to be on a beach passed out with a Jackie Collins novel or I need, like, a day that is jammed with too much information and too many tasks. Our wedding day last year was our dream day. We stayed with friends in Southampton. We both had massages. We had caviar for lunch — gobs of it. We went to the beach and got married barefoot. Then we went to see The Help in East Hampton and afterward went out for pizza at Sam’s. Give me beach, give me a movie I can cry at with someone I love, and within that day have my favorite junk food and my favorite indulgent food.
5:00 P.M. On workdays I’ve got to have two pieces of Ghirardelli dark chocolate for a jolt. I think I’m being good, but I’m not.
7:30 P.M. We usually go out. We go to the theater a lot. That is truly my favorite escape. We do not go fashiony, we go the opposite and pretend that we are theatrical folks. We go to Joe Allen on 46th Street and sit at the same table. I always have a Caesar salad and a hamburger. When I was in Paris, we ate dinner literally four nights a week at Joe Allen in Paris. I think Marc Jacobs and I, between the two of us, we were in Joe Allen every night. And if we don’t go to the theater, most instances we’ll go directly from the office to dinner. We stay in the Village for the most part. We love I Sodi, the Little Owl, Cafe Cluny, or Gene’s for that old-school Village feeling. During the week we never, ever cook. If we watch TV, then it’s something that I can just take my brain out for, like RuPaul’s Drag Race (it kills us — we die laughing), Restaurant: Impossible, or Fashion Police. I never have a cocktail at home. Going out to dinner, absolutely. I’ll have a Ketel One on the rocks, and if I’m having Italian food, I will have white wine, like a Gavi, and never red wine. I wear black and drink white.
12:30 A.M. I sleep in black Michael Kors briefs, but my bed is white. I can’t sleep on a sheet that’s colorful; it freaks me out. I need the pillows all situated in different spots. I’m one of those people who wake up in the morning with all the pillows on the floor and the covers gone.
As told to Anamaria Wilson Bazaar.com