Cole, Kenneth

(1954- )
   Cole's fashion history began with his family business. The family made footwear history when their Candies shoe line became a household name in the disco crazed 1970s. Cole is credited with the development of the famous Candies slide shoe. In 1982, Cole decided to break out on his own and launch his own company. Unable to afford a showroom, he rented a trailer that he parked outside the prominent shoe tradeshow of its time. In order to comply with necessary city permits, Cole creatively marketed his shoe company as a movie production—and his marketing ingenuity has continued to shine. In 2000, he added a womenswear collection. Cole is recognized worldwide for his design sense and his philanthropic endeavors. The company went public in 1994 and today earns more than $430 million. The company lines consist of Kenneth Cole New York, Reaction Kenneth Cole, and Unlisted. In 2001, Cole teamed up with W Hotels to design the hotel associates' uniforms. His book, Footnotes, a retrospective, was published in 2003.
   See also Footwear designer; Retailer.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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