In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Michael Kors launches a collaboration with ASHYA, a New York-based accessories brand by American-Jamaican partners Ashley Cimone and Moya Annece founded in 2017. The limited-edition collection consists of two exclusive bags: the Multi bag and the Ashley Bolo bag.
Michael Kors, the designer, hoped to both reflect on his past while looking to and supporting fashion’s future with this celebratory 40th anniversary collection. “Anniversaries make you think about both the past and the future,” Kors said. “I began my business in New York City in 1981, and now I find it very exciting to be able to turn the spotlight on the next generation of designers working here in New York City.”
As someone who’s built a global brand known for its accessories, Kors recognized a specific quality about ASHYA and its appealing designs. “When I first saw the work of Ashley and Moya at ASHYA, their thoughtfulness and unique point of view impressed me immediately,” Kors shared. “I reached out to them about doing a collaboration together that would merge our sensibilities and I am thrilled with how the collaboration came together.” Kors also wanted to use this collaboration as way to give ASHYA a larger, global audience. Kors’ team offered their mentorship, and Kors himself offered the young brand his personal advice.
The two gender-neutral, leather bags are designed in ASHYA’s signature silhouettes and have a custom pattern bringing together the signature MK logo print with inspiration from West African weaving techniques. “As a nod to our continued explorations of our roots, and this global ‘stepping out’ moment for our brand, we wanted to reference West African weaving in the design of the ASHYA x Michael Kors styles, creating something that has historical reference to our identity and that really spoke to the specialness of this partnership,” said Annece and Cimone. “African textiles have had, and still have, an exceptional significance as a means of communication within communities and act as a conduit of stories passed down through generations. There is a spiritual and historical significance to the colors, patterns and decorative elements used. The aesthetic value of West African textile designs can be seen in the lines and motifs created for this collaboration.”
With both brands inspired by New York City, travel, and versatile and uncomplicated luxury, to say the partnership was the perfect match is an understatement. Both Michael Kors and ASHYA brought their signature styles and identities to the table, creating elegant, timeless, yet incredibly modern pieces.
Although luxury collaborations are not infrequent, collaborations between brands with such a significant age gap are rare. Kors truly did look to the future of fashion with such a young brand, and we can’t wait to see if this inspires other large luxury brands to do the same.