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.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)