Garment district in New York City when New York fashion designers frequent.
Garment District in New York City when New York fashion designers frequent. Photo from New York Public Library Digital Collections.

From fashion legends to contemporary designers striving to make their mark on the fashion industry, New York City is full of talented fashion experts revolutionizing the industry. With New York Fashion Week occurring annually since 1943, New York City has established itself as one of the fashion capitals of the world. Designers flock to the city to make their mark on street fashion — and on the closets of New York City’s residents.

From gorgeous wedding dresses to bohemian-preppy ready-to-wear fashion, New York fashion designers have perfected their respective niches in the design world. As the industry changes with each season, new designers fight to sell their clothes to New Yorkers hungry for the newest addition to their wardrobes. Here are 8 fashion designers who have graced New York City with their creativity. Six of these New York fashion designers grew up within New York City’s five boroughs and chose New York City as the home for their brands.

1. Michael Kors and his line of luxury sportswear

A Michael Kors store.
There are more than 1,200 Michael Kors stores. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Born on August 9, 1959, in Merrick, Long Island, Michael Kors chose to base his fashion brand in a city close to home: New York. He first moved to the city when studying fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. While in school, he worked at a boutique named Louthar’s, where Dawn Mello, the executive vice president of Bergdorf Goodman, pushed him to design his own line of clothing. Dropping out of school after only two semesters, Kors launched his first fashion line in 1981; it centered around leather pieces and dresses made of a silk-like fabric called crepe de chine. That same year, he started his namesake company out of his apartment in Chelsea. Today, Michael Kors sells luxury accessories and ready-to-wear clothing at large department stores and more than 1,200 of its own stores.

Telling The New York Times, “you are truly only as good as the people you dress,” Kors first found his inspiration from the glamorous fashion in New York City during the 1980s. Today, his inspirations are elegant women like Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Oprah. The New York fashion designer lives with his husband, Lance LePere, in Greenwich Village. Since he moved to New York City, he has always lived within a five-mile radius of his current downtown penthouse.