Michael Kors Named to 'Time's' 100 List of Influentials

Fluent Fashionista
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Kors especially loves when actresses appear as guest judges on the show.

"We had Natalie Portman for the organic challenge," he says. "At first she didn't want to be critical, and I said, 'You dont have to be critical. You have a point of view.' The next thing we knew, she started speaking fluent fashionista.'"

The American designer joins Jay-Z, Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Middleton and Steven Spielberg on the magazine's annual list of its 100 most influential personalities, on newsstands Friday.

Time magazine has released its annual list of 100 people who, according to managing editor Richard Stengel, are “using their ideas, their visions, their actions to transform the world and have an effect on a multitude of people.” And one of those granted a 2013 berth is American fashion designer and former Project Runway judge Michael Kors, who is listed in the "titans" category along with Jay-Z, Tesla founder Elon Musk and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. 

"To be in such company is incredible," Kors, 53, said in a statement. The issue, which officially hits newsstands on Friday, includes a Kors homage penned by fellow designer Zac Posen, who replaced him as judge on Project Runway in January.

"When I started designing fashion in high school, around 1996, Michael Kors was the epitome of the new look of American sportswear: elegant luxury, easy glamour and effortless chic. His clothes merged the worlds of fashion and accessibility, which isn’t easy -- there was a sense of cleanliness in his designs," wrote Posen.

"Nearly two decades later, Michael is poised to become fashion's next billionaire."

Indeed Kors has built quite the empire since officially launching his line in 1981, after dropping out of New York's FIT and being discovered by Bergdorf Goodman. His 2011 IPO is considered fashion's most successful public offering to date. According to The New York Times, Kors sold roughly $185 million worth of his company's stock in February, bringing his net worth to a reported $300 million. He still retains a 2.5 percent stake in his company. 

Today, after a critically praised six-year stint as Celine's creative director and with two CFDA Awards under his belt, Kors continues to design his signature namesake line, a menswear collection, two diffusion lines, watches and fragrances, in addition to having boutiques across the globe. Earlier this week, he announced that he's branching out into beauty products as well. 

Kors and his fellow Time 100 honorees will be celebrated with a dinner at Lincoln Center in New York on April 23.