Kenneth Cole is tackling a hurdle many a fashion brand has attempted — to fuse fashion and comfort.
More than 1,500 people lined up outside the firm’s Rockefeller Center store in Manhattan on Friday morning to purchase shoes from the brand’s shoe collection featuring 925 Technology cushion technology incorporating materials such as deerskin, Poron foam, cork and flaxseed.
“They are like walking on teeny little pillows,” said actress Marcia Gay Harden, who was wearing a black pump on a silver heel, one of the five signature styles in the debut collection that will be sold exclusively at Kenneth Cole stores until next year, when the company will begin wholesaling the line.
Actress Eva Amurri was there, too, checking out the wares before her upcoming move to Los Angeles.
Bloomingdale’s chairman and chief executive officer Michael Gould perused the collection alongside Kenneth Cole ceo Jill Granoff, while Cole autographed shoes and took pictures with a long line of fans.
“What you put on every morning affects the way you look, but shoes are the only thing you put on that affects the way you feel,” said Cole of the initiative, which was four years in the making. “The goal was to make a comfortable shoe and to have it not look like a comfortable shoe…something a woman can look and feel good in.”
The first five styles are known as the Silver Edition and are limited editions. Styles include a pump, a high-heeled ankle boot, a pointed flat, a sling back and a skimmer with the “KC’ filigree logo fob at front. Colors include pearlized black leather, dark teal blue, chocolate and beige. Retail prices range from $135 to $195.
Granoff said there are talks to bring the technology to the men’s arena. The company presold 2,000 pairs, which customers in the Tri-State area were able to pick up Friday. Going forward all of the brand’s shoes will feature 925 Technology.
“The thought of selling full-price shoes at this rate, in this environment, is unprecedented,” said Granoff, who added the strategy with 925 so far is to build interest and drive traffic into Kenneth Cole shops. “We are reinventing footwear for Kenneth Cole New York. These shoes were designed from the inside out. It’s a rebirth, really.”
On Thursday, the company reported a second quarter loss of $3.3 million, or 18 cents a diluted share, versus a loss of $2.1 million, or 11 cents, in the year-ago period.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast