We asked designer Michael Kors to share the story behind two of his most cherished items–the wedding ring that once belonged to his grandfather, and his own wedding ring.

Why I Love
Credit: Manfred Koh

My grandparents were one of those couples who were like swans—they did everything together. They were married for 54 years, and when my grandfather Austin passed away, my grandmother Beatrice said, “You know, I think he wanted you to have his wedding ring.”

Quite honestly, when I was growing up, I didn’t really dream there would ever be a time I would be able to get legally married. But as soon as the New York state law changed in 2011, my partner, Lance, and I went down to City Hall. His parents, Dixie and Harold, also had a wonderful marriage, so I said, "Wouldn’t it be amazing to have rings that symbolize both of our families and our future together?"

His father had left him a ring with seven diamonds, so I called jewelry designer Janis Savitt and asked her to create something bold that combined them. Lance wears one, and I wear mine stacked with my grandfather’s ring. Every day, whenever I look at my finger, I’m reminded of the past and the future at the same time. I’m full of optimism.

Michael Kors and Lance LePere were married August 16, 2011, in Southampton, N.Y.

For more stories like this, pick up InStyle's March issue, on newsstands and available for digital download Feb. 10.