Michael Kors, the lifestyle brand that went public in 2011, has already surpassed Ralph Lauren in value. 

The eponymous line by fashion designer and Project Runway judge Kors has a market capitalization of $15.5 billion, reports Peter Lattman at Dealbook. 

Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren's 30-year-old company is worth $15.2 billion, according to Lattman. The brand went public in 1997. 

Michael Kors also got the most internet searches of any brand in 2012, according to a report by Digital Luxury Group. 

The brand has excelled because it has stayed focused on the market's sweet spot — people with money who aren't rich yet. 

With Michael Kors' $450 handbags and $250 watches, this demographic can show off their success without feeling like they're going overboard, according to a report by luxury marketing expert Pam Danziger.

Michael Kors also made the wise decision to release a lower-priced diffusion line that appealed to a wider range of consumers. 

The line, MICHAEL Michael Kors, offers cheaper products with a similar aesthetic to the designer's namesake brand.  

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