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Kenneth Cole: The Man behind the brand

 Miami residents had the pleasure of celebrating 30 years of one of the most fascinating luminaries of fashion, Kenneth Cole, who made his first South Florida appearance last week during the launch of his new coffee table book “This is a Kenneth Cole Production” at Bloomingdale’s in Aventura Mall.

Cole’s book examines the past three decades of his life, from his earliest days learning the shoe business from his father, to building his empire into a brand powerhouse and becoming the man behind the brand!

 

Inspired by this true American success story and looking forward to meeting the designer who has used provocative fashion advertising as a platform to supporting important social causes, our Founder & President, Lissette Rondon, obtained an exclusive interview with Kenneth Cole where the fashion icon talked about his new coffee table book, fashion in Miami, upcoming projects, and more.

Kenneth Cole: The Man behind the brand

 

LR-How do you feel about being here in Miami celebrating 30 years of your career with the launching of your new coffee table book, “This is a Kenneth Cole Production?”

“I feel lucky to be able to be celebrating; I always felt that the testimony of business success is the stability of surviving the test of time, so it’s a privilege to still be in business today and I welcome the opportunity to speak to people and customers in different ways. The world has changed but the message hasn’t changed that much, so I did this book because I guess I was supposed to– it hopefully helps people contemplate that we did our best to move forward,” said Cole. “About celebrating here in Miami- I love Miami, it’s a multicultural Meca and I spoke yesterday at the University of Miami Art Design, I individually shook hands with about 30 countries. Miami has this extraordinary versatile culture well conspired, each culture distinguish but all working together.”

LR- What inspired you to write this book?
“The book wasn’t something I was inspired to do. I was advised that I should do it,” added Cole. “I personally feel the best part is what lies ahead. I feel like what we are doing now is more than what we have done in 30 years but this book is something that kind of reflects upon our journey and you share it and hopefully it will inspire young people.”

Kenneth Cole: The Man behind the brand

LR- You have become a fashion icon, and here in Miami, we love your brand. What do you think about fashion in Miami?

“Fashion in Miami is very vibrant, energizing, and sexy and you kind of connect with people in very personal ways. That creates allure about Miami life,” said Cole.

LR- Could you define your work and yourself with just three words?
“Look good, feel good and do good,” said Cole smiling.

LR-Your company helps support important causes. What is your next project as a social activist?

“We have several social projects right now, we recently built a health care center in Haiti –We have over the years connected with this population with shoe drives and accessories,” said Cole. “I have focused most of my personal resources to find a cure for AIDS, I have been the chairman of amFAR for 8 ½ years. There have been 4 people clinically cured of AIDS in the past several years– today in the prevention front, we can help people prevent contracting the virus whether they are gay or straight, male, female or pregnant women bearing child.”

LR-You are a real American success story and an inspiration for many emerging designers. Would you give them any special advice?

“I think our goal is to find our own voice. Find something that doesn’t exist and create it,” said Cole.

Kenneth Cole: The Man behind the brand

Note from the editor: “This is a Kenneth Cole Production” is a must-have coffee table book for fashion lovers and young entrepreneurs. It’s a truly inspirational piece of art for emerging designers–100% of the profits will be donated to amfAR.

Written by Lissette Rondon
Edited by Alexis Diaz
Images by Frank Diaz.