Orchid named after American fashion designer

Fashion designer Kors with the Dendrobium Michael Kors at the National Orchid Garden. He plans to grow the namesake orchid at his new home in Florida.
Fashion designer Kors with the Dendrobium Michael Kors at the National Orchid Garden. He plans to grow the namesake orchid at his new home in Florida.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

American fashion designer Michael Kors now has an orchid that bears his name - the Dendrobium Michael Kors, with long reed-like stems and tiny lilac flowers.

The local hybrid was unveiled at an orchid naming ceremony in the Singapore Botanic Gardens yesterday to commemorate the opening of the designer's flagship store at Mandarin Gallery today.

Kors, who is currently based in New York City, said he plans to grow the namesake orchid at his new home in Florida, which is in the midst of being built.

"I'm a nature lover even though I'm a city boy. I have orchids all over my apartment in New York, and I'm building a house in Florida and I'll have orchids in the garden," the 57-year-old told The Straits Times yesterday during the ceremony, at which US Ambassador to Singapore Kirk Wagar was guest of honour.

The 1.78m-tall fashion icon also joked that the long and lean orchid represented a fantasy of his, in which he imagines himself to be tall and thin.

A spokesman for The Orchid Society of South-East Asia, which handles the naming of orchids in Singapore, said that apart from commemorating Kors' new store here, the Dendrobium Michael Kors is a nod to the designer's contribution to the fashion world.

Kors joins the list of over 100 celebrities and heads of state who have been welcomed to Singapore by having an orchid named after them. Past honorees include The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Elton John, Andrea Bocelli and Jane Goodall, among others. This is the second time an orchid has been named after a fashion designer - the first was the white and fuchsia-coloured Paravanda Frida, named in 2010 after Frida Giannini, who was then the creative director of Italian luxury house Gucci.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2016, with the headline 'Orchid named after American fashion designer'. Print Edition | Subscribe