On a latest Tuesday night, the road outdoors “Ain’t Too Proud,” the Broadway musical in regards to the R&B supergroup the Temptations, snaked across the block. Many ticket holders fretted over whether or not they can be admitted earlier than it began, however not Michael Kors.
He stood in line patiently along with his husband, Lance Le Pere, enjoying I Spy a Celebrity. Jessica Lange was up forward, making her means inside. A girl in a pink coat stepped out of a automotive; Mr. Kors recognized her as “Liza Minnelli’s best friend.”
“Her husband was like the disco dentist,” he mentioned. “Everyone at Studio 54 went to him.”
Mr. Kors, 59, who constructed a multi-billion-dollar enterprise off his beige off-the-shoulder sweaters, child blue skirts and “Project Runway” witticisms, had on his traditional outfit: a black trench coat, black sweater, classic gold Ray-Ban sun shades and a pair of Levi’s, which he wore with New Balance sneakers.
Mr. Le Pere, 48, had on an Ami windbreaker, Michael Kors T-shirt and Levi’s denims.
In February and September, the couple’s lives are dominated by the style week calendar. During Tonys season, they stunning a lot stay on the theater.
“I feel like we’re cramming for a test as June gets closer,” mentioned Mr. Kors, who, with Mr. Le Pere gave $1.5 million to the Roundabout Theater for its development fund and in 2016 had the V.I.P. room there named in their honor. “It’s like, ‘How many can we do in a week?’”
This season, they have been to “True West,” “The Ferryman,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “The Boys in the Band,” “King Kong,” “Oklahoma,” “The Cher Show” and “Lifespan of a Fact,” which they saw with Anna Wintour, their good friend and fellow theater lover.
“We’re like the fashion people waving the flag,” Mr. Kors said. “She and I used to be perplexed why more people in fashion don’t go, but I think it’s because they don’t want to turn their phones off. And they don’t want to be here on a scheduled time.”
Ms. Wintour said: “Michael and Lance are the ideal theater companions. They are knowledgeable, witty and always excited to be there! And they believe in eating quickly before curtain.”
Mr. Kors and Mr. Le Pere even hop on planes to catch plays that haven’t made it to Broadway.
Two years ago, they went to London for the National Theater’s adaptation of the movie “Network.” Soon after, Mr. Kors texted Rufus Norris, the theater’s artistic director, offering to help bring it to Broadway; Mr. Kors and Mr. Le Pere ended up becoming investors and producers. Now, they’re on the lookout for another show to back, perhaps a musical.
At “Ain’t Too Proud,” Mr. Kors and Mr. Le Pere made their way to their seats in the eighth row. The lights went down and Mr. Le Pere took Mr. Kors’s hand in his.
The touristy crowd cheered big Temptations numbers like “My Girl” and “Shout,” but Mr. Kors was more moved by edgier songs like “Get Ready” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”
“Ain’t Too Proud” also took darker turns, with tales of drug abuse and friction with Berry Gordy Jr., the founder of Motown.
“Is there ever a show business story that’s just smooth?” Mr. Kors said, as the curtain fell for intermission.
When “Ain’t Too Proud” ended an hour later, Mr. Kors rushed backstage to shower the cast in superlatives (“You guys killed it”) and take pictures with them. Afterward, around 10 p.m., he and Mr. Le Pere went to the restaurant Joe Allen for a bite.
Everyone there knew them. As frequent patrons, they have their own table near the bar. The order is always the same: a Caesar salad and hamburger, which they split. “This is our happy place,” Mr. Le Pere said.
Mr. Kors was still elated that two of the cast members told him that they wore his clothes. In 2015, Ms. Wintour spearheaded an effort to glam up the Tony Awards. Some designers had to be strong-armed into lending performers free gowns, but not Mr. Kors.
“It may not be Jennifer Lopez at the Golden Globes, but I’m excited Patti LuPone wears Michael Kors,” he said. And, the boundaries separating television, film and theater no longer exist, he added.
Cynthia Erivo, he pointed out, parlayed her performance in the Broadway musical “The Color Purple” into a starring role in the box office hit “Widows.” Billy Porter, the Tony-winning actor, is a breakout star on the F/X show “Pose.”
The conversation turned to another F/X series, “Fosse/Verdon,” about Bob Fosse and his wife Gwen Verdon. The show has gotten mixed reviews, but Mr. Le Pere and Mr. Kors are huge fans. The minute it came up, the two seemed to be pantomiming each other.
“We love it,” Mr. Kors said. “Obsessed.”
“There’s nothing like it,” Mr. Le Pere said. “She’s amazing,” he added, referring to Michelle Williams, who plays Verdon.
“Amazing,” said Mr. Kors.
“He’s brilliant,” Mr. Le Pere said, referring to Sam Rockwell, who plays Fosse.
“Brilliant,” Mr. Kors said. “Every part is done so amazingly.”
Nevertheless, Mr. Kors made it clear that he and Mr. Le Pere do not see themselves as theater queens.
So what if they saw recent Broadway productions of “Mary Poppins” and “Hello Dolly” four times each? Or made sure to catch the Roundabout Theater’s production of “Cabaret” three times: first with Michelle Williams playing Sally Bowles, then with Emma Stone in the role and finally with Ms. Stone’s replacement, Sienna Miller.
“We’re experience groupies,” Mr. Kors said.
To prove the point, Mr. Kors listed other things he and Mr. Le Pere have done recently, including trips to Las Vegas (to catch Cher at Caesar’s Palace) and MetLife Stadium (to see Beyoncé, despite torrential downpours). “We would have stayed til 2 a.m. if we had to,” Mr. Kors said.
As Mr. Kors sees it, “getting out and having your eyes and your ears and your senses open to something other than your own fashion world” is essential to the creative process.
“How do you possibly design things for human beings if you’re not part of the human world?” he said.
He is aware that most fashion people take fashion incredibly seriously. That mostly annoys him. “Have fun,” he said.
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