My Favorite Mistake
Michael Kors on the dangers of snappy underwear.
When I first ventured into menswear, it was fall 1991. My very first show was at Grand Central Terminal in New York, which is not exactly a private venue. I knew that the collection had to be exciting to look at, but it also had to answer questions or needs. At the time, whenever I had to wear a shirt, or anything that I wanted to tuck in, I would always tuck it into my underwear. I thought, maybe we can combine classic men's briefs with shirts, sweatshirts, T-shirts. And I ended up with the unfortunate idea of bodysuits for men.
From a distance, it would look like a guy was wearing briefs and a shirt, when in fact it was a little onesie with snaps under the crotch. You have to think, with the male anatomy, are snaps at the crotch the most comfortable thing? I had never worn one of these bodysuits or thought about how, when a man sends his dress shirts to the dry cleaner, he would send his underwear attached. I had never thought about the discomfort of the snaps, the oddity of getting undressed in front of anyone, or going to the bathroom.
I was nervous at the idea of a men's-only show. I thought it had to have sex appeal and impact. The show opened with five or six guys walking out with no pants. One of the guys, to put it bluntly, had very heavy body hair. It looked insane.
Soon after, I was at a store in Chicago, and there was a 60-year-old man with his 20-year-old boyfriend. …