Fashion Auction
KENNETH COLE CLOTHING

 

Kenneth Cole offers a variety of lines that center on cool, casual clothes and accessories that dress the modern young man or woman. An urban flair is found on many of the designs, such as with crewneck sweaters, lace-up loafers and dark-washed denim jeans. What makes Kenneth Cole such a marketable brand is that the labels cater to certain groups of people. Kenneth Cole Reaction has a youthful, sporty edge, while the original Kenneth Cole line dresses the professional businessman or woman. Price tags vary as well, as many of the pieces are designer-quality but without the designer price. This makes the label suitable for all individuals, despite budget.

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Kenneth Cole, best known for his designer lines of men and women’s shoes, was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1954. His father owned the El Greco shoe manufacturing company and taught Cole everything he needed to know about developing a quality shoe. Although Cole went to study at Emory University, he returned to New York and started designing his own shoe styles in 1982. It was at this time that the Kenneth Cole label was born.

Kenneth Cole - developing a quality

Kenneth Cole - much more than just a fashion designer

Cole knew that he wanted to work in the shoe business but had limited funds to do so with. Taking the initiative to market his own line of shoes, he traveled to Europe and was able to get a line of credit. During this time, it was easier to get credit from factories in Europe compared to American banks that didn’t depend on the business. Taking this loan, Cole designed his shoe collections and traveled back to America to launch his distinctive designs.
 
A smart businessman, Cole knew that he had to stand apart from the competition and build a separate identity for himself. Instead of renting a room at an elite hotel and advertising his products along with thousands of other sellers, Cole took a different approach. With the intention to park a large 40-foot trailer truck in Midtown Manhattan, he asked the mayor how he would go about doing so. The mayor advised Cole that only production companies could park their trucks in this area; certainly not just anyone. That didn’t stop Cole, however.
 
The following day, Cole changed the name of his company, Kenneth Cole, Inc., to something a bit more production-like: Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. He then applied for a permit to begin filming “The Birth of a Shoe Company.” And so the truck sat for the next few days right outside the New York Hilton where thousands of others tried to market their shoes. To keep up with the production image, Cole hired on models that played actresses, had a camera rolling with film and doormen to overlook the simulated film production. In two and a half days, Kenneth Cole Productions sold 40,000 pairs of shoes and the rest they say, is history.

Kenneth Cole diverse collections

Kenneth Cole simplistic and handsome

Kenneth Cole standing ahead of the fashion crazes

Kenneth Cole went public in 1994 and has since grown into a lifestyle collection that includes men and women’s clothing and accessories. These collections sell under Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction and Unlisted. The brand has over 90 retail and outlet store across the globe and sells their merchandise in catalogs and online websites. In fact, Kenneth Coles’ websites receive thousands of hits each day and the elite Kenneth Cole Catalog is mailed out to over 3 million customers each year. Cole continues to be recognized for his dynamic approach to his shoes, clothing and accessories that are always fashion-forward.
 
Although admired for his diverse shoe collections for men and women, Cole is much more than just a fashion designer. He’s well-recognized for the work he does with AIDS research and awareness, publicly supporting his role and being the first fashion designer to do this. Cole also supports other causes, such as those for homelessness and poverty. Not only does Cole donate funds to many groups in support of AIDS research and fighting poverty, but he also brings awareness to these issues by creating advertisements. These social ads are intended to shed light on various issues, but have also been the source of controversy.
 
For World AIDS Day in 2005 for example, Cole designed tees that were sold in upscale boutiques that sported such logos as, “I have AIDS” or “We all have AIDS.” These shirts were designed to decrease the social stigma toward the disease and narrow the gap between those who had AIDS and those who didn’t. And while these tees certainly garnered attention, Cole intended them to be a positive move toward social awareness. Despite some of the negative criticisms, Cole continues to make use of his designs as a way to encourage social change, especially with topics that were once taboo.
 
Fresh, modern and playful, Cole’s designs can be worn for a day at the office or a night on the town, making his pieces staples in any wardrobe. Zippered cardigans, striped sweaters and V-necks are simplistic and handsome for the guys. To complete the look, Cole offers an abundance of denim, including blue washed and white denim selections. Slim fit jeans are also popular with the men’s collections, as well as cotton suit jackets and blazers. Slim-fitted suits, wool pants and striped polos are perfect for building the business-casual look.
 
The women’s collections offer the ideal balance of flirtiness, fun and femininity. Silk tops, printed kaftans and cotton cardigans are beautiful and empowering and look stunning with black leggings, twill cargos or skinny jeans. Trench coat dresses and cargo shirtdresses are cute and casual, while ruched and knotted fabrics satisfy the evening collection. Silk wrap and zipped jackets are ideal pieces to be worn for work or play and look fitting when worn with Kenneth Cole’s sporty pencil skirts or cutesy miniskirts that feature snake prints, pleats and tiers.
 
Fabulously fresh, Kenneth Cole continues to stand ahead of the fashion crazes and offers trendsetting pieces that never go out of style. While his clothing collections dare to impress, Cole will always be a name synonymous with quality men and women’s footwear.

KENNETH COLE
CLOTHING


 

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