NEW YORK — Today’s the first day of the rest of Kenneth Cole’s life.
The designer — who spent 18 years under the glare of Wall Street — took his company private Tuesday for $15.25 a share, giving the firm an enterprise value of about $245 million.
From now on, Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. will be worth what he can make of it. Exactly what that will be is not clear, even to him.
“As a public company, you’re not encouraged to work on your Plan B scenario until that scenario comes to be,” Cole told WWD. “Everything you discuss is of public record. We’re going to work now to more clearly lay out and articulate what this company can look like and how we can be more efficient and productive as a private company.”
What’s clear is that Cole will be focusing more on design and getting the brand’s message out to the world, especially through digital marketing. A higher-end men’s and women’s sportswear line, Kenneth Cole Collection, launched in March. RELATED STORY: Kenneth Cole Launches New Collection >>
“It’s a new chapter, but it’s an exciting one and these are exciting times,” Cole said. “The whole world seems to be changing as we speak, and there are new ways of doing business and there are new ways to connect with audiences and consumers.”
The designer seemed pleased to get off of the treadmill of quarterly profit updates to Wall Street and the stock-price roller coaster.
“First and foremost, the design culture and the product will rise above everything else as it had at one point in our company’s heritage,” Cole said. “The markets insist upon short-term results and they reward you if you realize them and they penalize you severely if you don’t. But at the end of the day, short-term results are not usually what serves the needs of companies like ours.”
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
Discovery is collaborating with British pop artist @philipcolbert on a new line of clothing and accessories called Discovery Shark. The collection, which will launch next summer for Shark Week’s 30th anniversary, features a whimsical line of women’s and men’s bomber jackets, sweatshirts, bags and more. #wwdfashion
“I’m always a big champion of a female rapper, and I’m glad to see a new voice that feels unique and authentic that’s coming up, and I think we’re going to see more great things from her,” said @itsjeremyscott about @iamcardib, who performed at @moschino’s Art Basel Miami Beach party last night. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@janellemonae’s “What’s Your Frequency?” room in @refinery29's #29Rooms made its debut this week at the opening of the Los Angeles art exhibit. “It’s about the ongoing conversation around mass surveillance, the weaponization of technology and cultural uniformity. My space was created so that we can come together and talk about the complexities of our humanity,” said Monáe. #wwdeye (📷: @bucknerphoto)
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)