Kenneth Cole (designer)

Kenneth Cole (designer)

Kenneth Cole (b. March 23, 1954) is an American clothing designer. Born in Brooklyn, his father Charlie Cole, owned the El Greco shoe manufacturing company. Before learning the family business and starting his own company in 1982, Cole studied law at Emory University in Atlanta ["Kenneth Cole"] 2006. Accessed online 10 March,2008] .

Birth of a shoe company

Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. is a mid-grade American fashion house founded in 1982 by Kenneth Cole. Wanting to preview his line of shoes at Market Week at New York's Hilton Hotel, but unable to afford the purchase of a hotel room or showroom to display his items, Kenneth Cole inquired about parking a trailer two blocks from the Hilton Hotel. When discovering that permits for trailers were only granted to utility and production companies, innovative Cole changed the name of his company from Kenneth Cole Incorporated to Kenneth Cole Productions, and applied for a permit to film the full-length film, "The Birth of a Shoe Company". In two and a half days, Kenneth Cole Productions sold forty thousand pairs of shoes, while chronicling the beginning of the company on film ["Kenneth Cole"] 2006. Accessed online 10 March,2008] .

In 1994 Kenneth Cole went public, and has been included on Forbes annual list of 200 Best Small Companies approximately four times. ["Kenneth Cole"] . Accessed online 16 March,2008] .

Currently, Kenneth Cole designs men's and women's footwear, men's and women's clothing, and also accessories under the Kenneth Cole Reaction Line. ["Kenneth Cole"] 2006. Accessed online 10 March,2008] Overall, Kenneth Cole Productions sells clothing and accessories under the following lines: Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Unlisted, Tribeca, and the licensed name Bongo. The company now operates over 90 retail and outlet stores worldwide, and sells in catalogs and websites. Kenneth Cole controls almost all of the voting rights and 45% of the company [ [ Kenneth Cole - Company Description - Hoover's ] ] .

Other accomplishments and activities

Since 1985, Kenneth Cole has been openly involved in publicly supporting AIDS awareness and research. He is considered the first in the fashion industry to do so. ["Kenneth Cole"] . Accessed online 16 March,2008] .

He uses fashion as a medium to promote socially conscious ads to help fight various causes from AIDS to homelessness. He has donated proceeds to such organizations as Mentoring USA, amfAR and Rock the Vote. ["Kenneth Cole"] . Accessed online 16 March,2008] .

Kenneth Cole's socially conscious advertising for the causes that he champions can be somewhat controversial but are always meant to stir positive change. One such example was his campaign for World AIDS Day in 2005. He designed T-Shirts for the campaign which were sold at such stores as Barneys New York, Scoop, and Louis Boston. The messages on the shirts stated either, "We All Have AIDS" or "I Have AIDS." Cole created the shirts in hopes that those with or without AIDS would wear the shirts, to help diminish the stigma attached to the disease. Cole stated, "There is a legend of the Danish king, Christian X, who, during World War II, when Hitler insisted all Jews publicly wear a yellow Star of David, would wear the star himself, hence making it difficult to differentiate who was Jewish. This is kind of like that, hopefully." Wilson, Eric (2005) [,%20Kenneth"The New York Times-From Kenneth Cole, A New Solidarity"] 1 December,2005. Accessed online 16 March,2008] .

In August 2006, it was announced that Kenneth Cole Productions would stop selling fur in all of their garments for the Fall 2007 Fashion Season (2006) ["Kenneth Cole Gives the Boot to Cruelty, Pledges to Go Fur-Free"] 18 August,2006. Accessed online 26 March,2008] .

In 1998, People Magazine voted Cole as "Sexiest Businessman of the Year." ["Kenneth Cole"] . Accessed online 16 March,2008] .

In August 2007, it was reported that Cole would have a guest starring role on the hit ABC TV Show, Ugly Betty. The episode was scheduled to air in October 2007 ["Kenneth Cole to Guest Star on "Ugly Betty""] 7 August,2007. Accessed online 16 March,2008] .

In the summer of 2007, Kenneth Cole also began their "Awearness" Campaign, which will produce a line of T-Shirts to benefit the charities that the company supports, and proceeds will go to the Awearness FundEspinosa, Renata (2008) [" Awareness of the Issues through Kenneth Cole's "Awearness"""] 19 March,2008. Accessed online 28 March,2008] .

In 2008 the company is celebrating its 25th year, with events planned to commemorate itEspinosa, Renata (2008) [" Awareness of the Issues through Kenneth Cole's "Awearness"""] 19 March,2008. Accessed online 28 March,2008] .

Personal life

In 1986, Cole met Maria Cuomo, and they married a year later. Maria Cuomo Cole is the daughter of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and sister of current New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and ABC News journalist Chris Cuomo ["Kenneth Cole"] . Accessed online 16 March,2008] . One of his daughters, Amanda, hosted the Mets Kids Clubhouse for Sportsnet New York ["New York Post-THE RUMBLEAN OFF-THE-BALL LOOK AT YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS CELEBRITIES"] 6 January,2008 Accessed online 16 March,2008] .

Kenneth Cole and wife Maria Cuomo Cole purchased a $14.5 million co-op in 2008 on Sutton Place in New York City. At one time fashion designer Bill Blass lived in this same building Ohrstrom, Lysandra (2008) ["The New York Observer-Kenneth Cole, Maria Cuomo Buy $14.5 M. Sutton Place Co-Op"] 5 March,2008 Accessed online 11 March,2008] .


External links

* [ Kenneth Cole company site]
* [ Kenneth Cole Shoes]
* [ Kenneth Cole company site Birth of a Shoe Company]

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