Fashion News Alert: Michael Kors Looks to Broadway for 40th Anniversary, John Christopher Rogers Collabs with Target, and Judith Leiber and Ganesh Bag Controversy

Michael Kors RTW Fall 2021 Preview image courtesy of WWD

Michael Kors celebrated the 40th Anniversary of his eponymous brand by looking to Broadway. With Broadway theatres still closed in New York City, Kors looked to the projected re-opening of Broadway in the fall to celebrate his 40th anniversary. The 40th Anniversary was a two-part event, starting with a trip to Sardi’s with the celebrity caricatures on the wall coming to life in the 40th Anniversary video. Kors’ cast includes Bette Midler, Cynthia Nixon, Bernadette Peters, Rosario Dawson, Alan Cummings; Billy Porter, Chita Rivera; Matt Bomer, Marisa Tomei, Ashley Park, and Ariana DeBose.

“We have all had such a longing for community, travel and experiences so the idea of my beloved Broadway being shut down and all the talented people being out of work breaks my heart … So, this is a love letter to Broadway; the theatre; live performances and to New York City,” explained Kors in a Zoom with European editors a day before, as reported in

There was also a runway strut on a closed-down 44th street with supermodels Naomi Campbell, Carolyn Murphy, Helena Christensen, Bella Hadid, and other fashion model luminaries. There was tons of glamour and opulence to spare with final looks of metallic dresses, marabou feathers, and faux furs.

For this 40th anniversary collection Kors true inspiration from opulent styles from his archives. “It’s the opposite of this messy, slouchy and quite frankly undone look that we have all gotten very used to. It’s about stepping out, definitely. We are starting to hear people thinking about, ‘what will I be doing for New Year’s Eve? Where will I be for Christmas? I want to get dressed up when I go back to the office. And end my life in slippers and track pants!’ This fall will be about learning to walk in heels again, ’cause everyone is going to want to strut their stuff,” explained Kors.

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Judith Leiber brand makes a boo boo

Cultural sensitivity has become a big catch phrase in recent years, which is understandable when you consider several brands that have committed a lot of faux pas along the way, offending communities of color, women, LGBT plus and other groups. The list is long and too lengthy to detail in this fashion news alert.

However, the most recent insensitivity is laid at the feet of Judith Leiber. Known for her jeweled and bedazzled bags, Leiber is the fashion industry’s most recent perpetrator of cultural insensitivity by creating a handbag in the likeness of the Hindu deity Ganesh with the inside lining the handbag made of cowhide leather.

In the Hindu faith cows are sacred and any use of their skins or meat is considered a violation of the sacred. The handbag’s exterior was bedazzled with exquisite beading and semi-precious stones.

“We are deeply sorry to hear that our Ganesh bag has caused offense to the Hindu community,” Lela Katsune, president of Judith Leiber Couture, said in a statement to The Economic Times. ”Now, that we are aware that the leather lining in the Ganesh bag contradicts the Hindu belief system, effective immediately we will be ceasing production on this style with leather lining. Going forward, this this style will be produced with a synthetic lining.”

Harrod’s, which was the first store to carry the Ganesh bag, immediately pulled the bag off the floor after being called out on social media. Ganesh is the Hindu deity of beginnings and the remover of obstacles. Ganesh is worshipped before any major enterprise is undertaken. The deity is usually characterized with head of a white elephant.

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Another jewel in Christopher John Roger’s crown

Target has tapped three designers as a part of their upcoming Designer Dress Collection, which comes of the heels of last year’s success with this Target initiative. And Christopher John Rogers has been selected as one of the designers to participate in this year’s Designer Dress Collection. The other two designers selected for this Target capsule collection series are Rixo, and Alexis.

Of the three designers selected Christopher John Rogers has the most name recognition. Rogers known for his use of bold color and voluminous silhouettes. In 2019 Rogers won the coveted CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and for the recent presidential inauguration, Rogers dressed Vice President Kamala Harris.

These capsules collections from all three designers will be size inclusive, from a XXS to 4X and maintain a price point of $40 to $60. The collections will also contain 70+ original designs.

“We had to keep in mind a certain price point and make sure that a lot of different people would be able to access and enjoy,” he says, as reported in “It feels like a step in the right direction to give more people access to the fantasy that we provide within our main collection.”

On his experience working with the Target team, Rogers adds, “[t]hey were always keen to try and make it work,” he says. “If we came in and said, ‘can we add more fabric to this or make something bigger, get a textile that was shinier or do an even more obnoxious print,’ no matter what their response was ‘yes let’s try it’ and that was the most fun part.”

The release date of the new Designer Dress Collection has not yet been released.

William S. Gooch

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