Michael Kors became one of the richest fashion designers in the world by leading his company to the forefront of the entire industry. He is the chief creative director and honorary chairman of his eponymous brand, Michael Kors. Kors has an estimated net worth of around $800 million in 2024.

Let’s explore Michael Kors’ career, learn more about his net worth, and get into his life story to see what insights we can glean from one of the most successful fashion designer and entrepreneurs in the world today.

Michael Kors’ Net Worth Breakdown

Michael Kors keeps most of his investment and portfolio information private, like many wealthy people, which makes it impossible to determine his exact net worth. He also sold many of his shares in Michael Kors Holdings after the company went public so his holdings are no longer reported publicly. However, we have been able to collect plenty of public information surrounding his various sources of income, investments, assets, and business ventures to build a careful estimate. Here’s what it looks like:

Asset or Income Source Contribution to Net Worth
Capri Holdings stake $100 million
Real estate portfolio $100 million
Other investments and personal assets $600 million
Total Net Worth $800 million

Michael Kors Net Worth: Early Life of the King of Fashion

Michael Kors was born Karl Anderson Jr. on Long Island, New York. His mother, Joan Hamburger, was a former model but little is known about Karl Anderson Sr., Kors’ biological father. His mother married Bill Kors and the young Karl who was then only five redesigned her mother’s wedding dress. When his mother asked him if he wanted to choose a new name Karl decided to become Michael David Kors and he has held that name ever since.

young Michael Kors at a wedding
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Kors graduated from the John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore, New York City, and got interested in fashion quite early. As a teenager, he started to design clothes and sold them from the basement of his parents’ home.

Given his passion for fashion, Kors enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York in 1977 but left in just nine months. He then took up the job of a salesperson at a boutique named Lothar’s in Midtown Manhattan. Dawn Mello, the executive vice president and fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman at the time, noticed Kors when he was working at Lothar’s. She was quite impressed with him and asked him to contact her if he ever designed a collection.

Kors grabbed the opportunity and officially launched his own line in 1982. He held his first runway show two years later, sending the famous supermodel Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid (often known as just Iman) down the runway in a turtleneck and gray flannels. His collection was an instant hit.

Michael Kors with two friends
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He became famous as a designer who understood what women wanted from their clothing and his luxurious sportswear collection was glamorous as well as comfortable.

According to Kors, “People think of sportswear as uniquely American, but women around the world love playing with separates because they can put their own spin on them.”

He added, “The creative thinking behind sportswear is the same no matter where you are—it’s all about great pieces that women can wear every day.”

Michael Kors Net Worth: Filing for Bankruptcy

Michael Kors launched his lower-priced licensed line, Kors Michael Kors in 1990. However, in 1993 Compagnia Internazionale Abbigliamento USA, a subsidiary of the Italian Gruppo Legler Polli, declined to produce the licensed line pushing Michael Kors to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In an interview with WWD in 2013, while recalling the bankruptcy, Kors recalled, that he then thought, “Oh my God, I’ve worked so hard, and I’ve killed myself, and if this doesn’t work out and we can’t manage to get ourselves out of this situation, will I have any identity as a person? Is all my identity tied up in being Michael Kors?”

Kors managed to recover from the bankruptcy in 1997 when Bernard Arnault’s LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy)  invested in his company. He launched a budget ready-to-wear line for Celine, a renowned French luxury brand owned by LVHM. In 1998, Kors became a creative director at Celine – a position he held until 2004 when he decided to start his own company.

Michael Kors Net Worth: Pioneering the MICHAEL Michael Kors Line

In 2004, Michael Kors launched the MICHAEL Michael Kors line. The same year, Kors joined as a judge on the Emmy Award-winning TV show “Project Runway” which made him a celebrity internationally – mostly thanks to his famous one-liners. Over the next few years, Kors expanded his business and added a shoe and eyewear line. In 2006, he opened the first Michael Kors Lifestyle store. In 2010, Kors established Michael Kors KK in Japan

Next year, he celebrated the brand’s 30th anniversary by opening a Paris boutique on Rue St. Honore. He also debuted a new Collection flagship on Madison Avenue in New York. Kors launched a jewelry line in 2016 in collaboration with Fossil.

Michael Kors on wall street with colleagues
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Michael Kors Net Worth: Going Public and Making Millions

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. went public via an IPO in 2011, pricing its shares at $20. It was the biggest IPO by a fashion brand in the US and the share rose 25% on the debut. The stock more than doubled to $51.20 by the end of 2011 which gave the company a mammoth market cap of $10 billion.

Thanks to the rise in the stock, Michael Kors joined the billionaire’s club in 2014. In November 2017, Michael Kors Holdings completed the acquisition of Jimmy Choo Plc and further expanded its luxury portfolio.

The company made a major leap in 2018 and acquired Versace for $2.12 billion. It also changed its name to Capri Holdings and started trading under the ticker symbol CPRI. The company listed geographical diversification as part of the rationale for the merger. It reasoned that while the merger would likely cause its revenue share in the Americas to fall somewhat, it would skyrocket in Asia and Europe.

Michael Kors Net Worth: Capri Holdings Gets Acquired

In 2023, Tapestry, the parent company of Coach, announced a definite merger agreement to acquire Capri Holdings Limited for $57 per share in cash which gave the fashion company an enterprise value of around $8.5 billion. Commenting on the deal, John D. Idol, Capri’s chairman and CEO said, “By joining with Tapestry, we will have greater resources and capabilities to accelerate the expansion of our global reach while preserving the unique DNA of our brands.”

Meanwhile, the transaction is facing regulatory heat, and last month the US FTC blocked the deal over concerns that it would eliminate the competition between the three brands – Kate Spade, Coach, and Michael Kors.

“This deal threatens to deprive consumers of the competition for affordable handbags, while hourly workers stand to lose the benefits of higher wages and more favorable workplace conditions,” said the FTC in its release.

Michael Kors Net Worth: Real Estate Investments

Michael Kors has quite the real estate portfolio, though it seems that most of his purchases are focused more on buying properties for him and his husband Lance LePere to enjoy than making money.

Michael Kors lives a luxurious life and stays in a penthouse in Greenwich Village, a famously expensive area in Brooklyn New York. The penthouse includes a stunning private terrace and even a personal gym. He also owns a beach house on Long Island that he and his husband visit when they need a break from city life. In 2018, they also bought a waterfront mansion in Palm Beach, Florida for $21.16 million.

Michael Kors' apartment
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Michael Kors’ Many Awards and Accolades

Michael Kors has won several awards and accolades over the years. These include

  • In 1999, he won the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) award for womenswear designer of the year
  • In 2003, he won the CFDA award for menswear designer of the year
  • In 2010, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by CFDA
  • In 2013, he was selected for The Time 100 list of most influential people in the world

However, for a fashion designer like Kors, he is likely more proud of the number of celebrities and influential people who have adorned his collection. Just some of the notable celebrity fans who have worn his dresses include Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Kate Middleton, Hillary Clinton, and Angelia Jolie. His work is a mainstay at top award ceremonies and parties like the Golden Globe and Academy Awards.

US First Lady Michelle Obama even wore a black sleeveless dress designed by Kors.

Michelle Obama
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Michael Kors’ Work in Philanthropy

Michael Kors is an active and influential philanthropist and advocates fighting global hunger. Kors has partnered United Nations World Food Program (WFP) for the Watch Hunger Stop campaign. For over three decades, he has supported the New York City non-profit organization God’s Love We Deliver.

He has won the following awards for his philanthropic work

  • In 2015, the UN WFP named Kors Global Ambassador Against Hunger
  • In 2016, WFP U.S.A. honored Kors with the McGovern-Dole Leadership Award which was presented by then-Vice President Joe Biden.

What Can We Learn from Michael Kors’s Life

Michael Kors’ unbelievable life story is full of powerful lessons. One common thread you see throughout Kors’ story (as well as in most successful people’s lives) is determination. He put years of hard work into a brand before going bankrupt but he didn’t quit there. Kors quickly rebounded, landing a major investment from LVMH, and took his brand to even greater heights.

The bankruptcy was not easy for him, and he recalled in the WWD interview, “I finally realized that if I had to go back to square one, that if I was just honest and authentic, it would work. It’s what works. You have to know yourself.”

He was bullied as a child as unlike boys of his age who liked to play sports, Kors was more interested in drawing and sketching. However, with his perseverance and hand work, Kors was able to make a mark in the fashion world.

According to Kors, “If my story can help, you know, a 12-year old who’s having a hard time and to make people realize, ‘You know what? There is a light at the end of the tunnel.'”

Kors also stresses learning from the mistakes rather than getting bogged down by them and said, “If you don’t make the mistakes, you’ll never go forward….you will just be stuck.”

While some of Kors’s collections got bad reviews, he says, “You can’t cry. You’ve gotta get onto the next collection.”