Few names are as synonymous with American fashion as Michael Kors. And with the brand celebrating its 40th anniversary, looking back on his first years in the business made the designer feel extra reflective about what it means, in particular, to be a new designer in the big city. Hence, Michael Kors’ new partnership with Ashya, a small Brooklyn-based label, dreamt up to offer a sort of platform to the masses.

“Planning for the anniversary last year, and remembering my own start in business, made me think about the challenges that young brands face today,” explains Kors, who chose the young American-Jamaican duo, Ashley Cimone and Moya Annece of the accessories brand Ashya, to create a limited-edition capsule of two exclusive bags.

“After what we’ve been through globally, I think we’re all looking forward to what’s ahead,” adds Kors. “The past few years have really shown us the importance of working together and of supporting our communities. For me that’s fashion, and also New York. Partnering with an up-and-coming brand is a way of fostering that sense of togetherness while welcoming fresh perspectives.”

When it came time to collaborate, the designers switched offices to take in the respective aesthetics and DNA of each brand. Cimone and Annece came to the Michael Kors office in Manhattan and Kors visited their studio in Industry City in Brooklyn. “Both of our brands started out in New York and are very connected to the city, but we also share a curiosity about the world and a love of travel that unites,” mused Kors.

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