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A little glam makes Michael Kors Lifestyle store a jet-setter's dream in Alaska

Leslie BoydAK Shopgirl
Affordable luxury: Alaska's first Michael Kors Lifestyle store has arrived at Fifth Avenue Mall. Courtesy Michael Kors

Fashion designer Michael Kors must be savoring this moment. He's leveraged his turn as a sassy, split-your-seams funny judge on Lifetime’s 'Project Runway' into ubiquitous designer clothing stores that are springing up across the globe and in Alaska, where the first Michael Kors Lifestyle Store opened Aug. 22.

And even as he recovers from the shock of having finally arrived in Anchorage, Michael Kors also arrives on the cover of iconic fashion magazine Vanity Fair in the September 2013 issue.

‘Affordable luxury everywhere’

Our first Michael Kors Lifestyle store opened last Thursday on the second floor of Fifth Avenue Mall, two doors from Sephora, another national namebrand that’s newly arrived in Alaska.

I visited a few hours after doors opened on opening day, and a few more times over the weekend. My trips were less about shopping and more about scoping out the atmosphere and how well Anchorage locals would receive the Michael Kors Lifestyle.

Disclosure: I confess to fogging up the Kors store’s glass more than once over a display of glitzy rose gold watches. And I may have casually carress the suede York Ankle Boot more than once.

Kors Lifestyle Anchorage offers an in-store shopping experience designed to reflect the brand’s sporty chic vibe. Runway-ready music flows in time with video from runways filled with Kors-designed fashion, looping on screens behind the cash wrap. It was hard not to strut across the glossy white sales floor that shines beyond the store’s bright back lighting.

Glam touches were everywhere -- mirrored surfaces, a Zebra-print Ottoman, black and white photography -- accessories that together offers shoppers more than just a prelude to spending.

Indeed, Kors is is primarily stocked with accessories – no surprise about that, either, from a designer who celebrates them: “They have no size, no age. You could feel you are having a fat day, you can still wear accessories,” Kors remarked earlier this month.

Expect a range of handbags, totes, clutches and wristlets, glass cases filled with shining watches and glittering earrings and chunky bracelets. And footwear: Kors delivers an assortment of boots, pumps and sneakers. There is a limited selection of clothing -- so rarely found in national brands -- that will actually work in Alaska's fashion-challenged climate.

I noticed that most of the selection for Anchorage’s grand opening were from the MICHAEL Michael Kors line, which offers a more budget-friendly price point than the Michael Kors Collection. I also noticed I’d made myself right at home.

Between accessory ogles, I watched a woman in hiking boots try on jewelry and a group of 20-something ladies cheer as one of their own posed with a studded leather handbag and strappy, snakeskin calf boots.

A teenager in hot pink sweatpants test-drove ballet flats adorned with a signature MK medallion on the toe while dad and younger siblings tried to stay awake on the Zebra ottoman.

Ad campaigns for the Michael Kors brand typically offer an expert mash-up of modern trends with vintage glam; women are always stepping out of fancy cars or helicopters with Ken dolls opening doors and carrying luggage. A fantasy of jet setters and sophisticates and socialites that seems almost within reach -- and likelier with that fabulous Rose Gold Baguette-Bezel Watch dangling off my arm.

Store hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10-8 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

Michael Kors store hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday in the downtown Anchorage Fifth Avenue Mall (map).

Anchorage freelance writer Leslie Boyd writes a regular column on local shopping and style. Ideas, information or tips? Contact her at akshopgirl(at)gmail.com.