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Is Michael Kors a Luxury Brand? Or Just A Good Brand?

In life, there are many important decisions that we are going to have to make.

Fortunately, fashion decisions are the less complicated and more exciting ones!

A special occasion always requires the right accessories to make our outfit spectacular.

Maybe you’re considering getting yourself top luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton.

Michael Kors Outlet
Image by Zarateman via Wikimedia

Perhaps you’re considering an item from the Michael Kors collection. This leads us to the question: Is Michael Kors a luxury brand?

Michael Kors entered the fashion scene in the early eighties and is still popular today.

Does Michael Kors carry the prestige that legacy brands often exude? Let’s find out.

What makes a brand luxurious?

How is luxury defined?

Is Michael Kors a luxurious brand? The best way to answer this question is to define what a luxury brand is.

The experts in retail science define a luxury brand as one that carries a certain element of exclusivity.

A brand that carries a unique touch and an experience not found everywhere is luxurious.

Additional attributes of luxury brands are high quality and a high price point.

Michael Kors pieces are accessible at all major retailers. This eliminates the element of exclusivity.

If you walk into stores such as Bloomingdale’s, you can access items from the various collections.

Michael Kors Fall Winter 2010
Image by Masaki-H via Wikimedia

What is the product quality of the Michael Kors Collection?

What about product quality? Michael Kors handbags are known all over the fashion world.

Handbags made from leather tend to be very sturdy and long lasting. Handbags that are made from non-leather fabrics have a shorter shelf life.

The Michael Kors handbag range is made from a variety of materials. Higher-end pieces in the Michael Kors collection are made in Italy.

The mid- to lower-end pieces in the Michael Kors collection are made in China.

With a good high-low quality mix, the company does a great job of catering to the needs of all of its target market.

Michael Kors Budapest store
Image by Amin via Wikimedia

Business Value

Is Michael Kors a designer brand because of its price point? Many customers perceive the Michael Kors products as being overpriced.

From the cost basis, is Michael Kors a luxury brand? Material input often dictates the final price point of a product.

The higher-end items in the Michael Kors collection are made of leather. They warrant the price points that they are given.

Synthetic materials are utilized to make the lower-price point handbags. The product quality mix is why Michael Kors is not perceived to be as high value as brands like Louis Vuitton.

The brand is perceived as a comparable brand to Coach or DKNY.

Business value is a true indicator of a company’s success. From a sales perspective, is Michael Kors a luxury brand?

Michael Kors was ranked 88 on the Forbes list of successful companies. Valued at $4.2 billion, the company ranked higher than some well-known designer brands such as Ralph Lauren.

They do hold their own where business success and recognition are concerned.

Michael Kors Heritage: How Iconic is the brand?

Michael Kors Early Life

Every major brand has a firm foundation, and although Kors is popularly known for his presence as a judge on “Project Runway”, there are several layers to his artistic talents.

Karl Anderson, Jr. was born in Long Island, New York. His early childhood was filled with various activities such as modeling, and this is when his passion for fashion started.

He appeared on various national campaigns for a multitude of lifestyle products.

He was featured in a variety of commercials, including Lucky Charms and other household products.

He always was one to create his own destiny. Anderson changed his name to Michael Kors when his mother remarried.

He designed her wedding dress.

Kors branched out in 1981 and started the Michael Kors Women’s Collection.

The line was sold in high-end department stores. Always one with a sense of style, Kors became a great fashion entrepreneur.

The Michael Kors Collection Label

Success is not a straight line. The initial success of Michael Kors first fashion line was short-lived.

Michael Kors soon took on other assignments at fashion houses such as Celine.

With Kors’ professional comeback, another product line was born. From previous experience, he knew what design risks to take.

Determined to live his dream, Michael Kors eventually re-branded his company.

In 1997, he launched three major lines including the Michael Kors Collection Label.

Celebrity Sightings: Who is wearing Michael Kors?

Is Michael Kors a luxury brand in the eyes of A-listers? Michael Kors has a keen eye for fashion, and was hired as a judge on several seasons of Project Runway.

He has had the privilege of dressing former first lady Michelle Obama for the inaugural ball.

Michelle Obama has worn Michael Kors pieces on several other occasions also.

With further brand recognition via this event, sales and price points of Michael Kors products went up.

Many artists and actresses have also worn Michael Kors pieces, including A-listers such as Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez and Reese Witherspoon.

How valuable are Michael Kors items?

Michael Kors product lines contain a myriad of items, ranging from watches to handbags, which are well-loved globally.

The variations in price points make the brand an affordable luxury brand. Luxury brands tend to keep all their merchandise priced above a particular price point.

The MK bag range has items that are under $150. Select Michael Kors handbags are retailed for $1000 or more, and limited edition bags are priced in the $500 range.

Michael Kors bags do not retain their resale value. They are often discounted for sale purposes.

What makes Michael Kors items unique?

Is Michael Kors a luxury brand? Michael Kors has a clean, fresh aesthetic.

As a designer brand, there are some key notes that signify to customers that the item is from Michael Kors.

These include the signature MK tag that is seen on most of its items. Most of the items are well-made and crafted from safiano leather.

The finish of higher-end pieces in the Michael Kors collection is comparable to Coach or Tory Burch.

As a more affordable option, the element of luxury can be preserved without the high price point.

As the product line expanded, Michael Kors wristwatches became standard fashion accessories worn by all fashionistas.

The Michael Kors collection contains items that fulfill a luxury lifestyle.

Certain brands such as Kate Spade also have similar appeal.

Social Responsibility

As the world transitions to greener operations, Michael Kors has committed themselves to more sustainable operations.

This intention aligns with other fashion houses such as Jimmy Choo and Versace.

Via sustainable operations, manufacturing processes will reduce their emissions.

The company will also source leather from certified tanneries and optimize its water consumption.


Is Michael Kors a luxury brand? With the definitions and classifications of luxury above, one can see that Michael Kors is difficult to define.

Michael Kors has their product lines in a multitude of categories. They fulfill, like their sister company DKNY, the essence of a lifestyle brand.

Is Michael Kors a luxury brand? The answer is, it depends. From the perspective of certain aspects of the higher end of its line, the answer would be yes.

From the perspective of the entire brand, the answer is that Michael Kors is at the upper end of affordable luxury.

They are not in the same category as legacy fashion houses like Louis Vuitton or Prada.

As an affordable luxury, Michael Kors is comparable to brands such as Kate Spade and Guess.

If the brand were to grow, and become more niche, more exclusive, and retain its product value, the perception of Michael Kors as a luxury brand would definitely be retained.


Do celebrities wear Michael Kors?

A: Many celebrities wear Michael Kors products. Many actresses and musicians, including A-listers such as Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez, have been seen wearing items from the Michael Kors collection.

Who wears Michael Kors?

A: Both men and women wear Michael Kors items. From clothing to accessories, the entire lifestyle of aspiring luxury enthusiasts will be satisfied.

Is Michael Kors still a good brand?

Michael Kors is an amazing brand. As the company passes its forty year mark, it is establishing itself as a legacy brand, and still managing to cater to its target demographic.