NEW YORK, United States — The term “Jetsetter” may be an overused label, but it certainly describes the idealised consumer for whom Michael Kors designs. The Hamptons, Morocco, Ibiza, Aspen — these are people who require a different wardrobe for each home, each holiday, each moment. This season was about ski to city: pieces that make sense on the slopes, but also in everyday life.
“These are the chicest way to run out for milk,” he said, referencing a pair of ribbed cashmere sweatpants. When price is no object, why not buy a pair? Or, for that matter, a cushy ribbed camel-hair hoodie lined in sherpa? Kors also updated his classic camel reefer coat by rendering it in fluffy tigrado shearling and urbanised the traditional ski suit by proposing an all-black down puffa sweatshirt paired with matching pants and a quilted scarf.
Bundled up, yes, but always practical. Kors mentioned scything — or shaving down — a black shearling to lighten it up a bit. Given the warm weather on the East Coast this winter, it’s a neat trick that could potentially make or break a sale. But while his women’s collections — both on and off the runway — have a high degree of pizazz, his men's effort failed to measure up and deliver the kind of aspirational dream on which the brand trades.
It’s easy to know exactly who the Kors woman wants to be. Her male counterpart is a little less defined. For instance, a floppy mohair “teddy bear” cardigan lacked the casual ease of which Kors is a master. The trousers, from the single pleat style to a narrow ski silhouette, looked too much like your standard fare.
Given that men’s is a growth category for the brand — which recently appointed John Varvatos alum Don Witkowski president of the division — it would be nice to see Kors take it up a notch next season. And maybe even stage a runway show. To be sure, the designer seemed to enjoy walking small groups of editors and buyers through the collection, presented in a salon-style setting, as much as they enjoyed letting him entertain them with his snappy one-liners and sharp insights. But New York Fashion Week: Men’s desperately needs an anchor designer. People would fly in to see a Kors production.