On his first day in business, Kenneth Cole parked a 40-foot trailer, director, camera, and troop of actresses in Midtown Manhattan, just across the street from the Hilton. Somebody had painted “Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc.” on the side of the trailer. Nobody had loaded film into the camera. The movie was a ruse—a way for the young designer to get a coveted parking permit and set up his mobile shoe store in the heart of New York. It worked. In less than three days, he sold 40,000 pairs of shoes.
More than two decades later, Kenneth Cole has expanded his line beyond high-quality high-fashion shoes to include trendy apparel, handbags, and watches for men and women around the world. He’s known for updating classic looks with modern details, such as adding a wedge heel to a pair of pointed-toe boots or making sure that a watch can tell the current time on Jupiter.