Paul Blum, chief executive officer of Kenneth Cole Productions Inc., has resigned his post.
He plans to return to his prior advisory role at the company and work on strategic development. Kenneth Cole, chairman and chief creative officer, will assume the role of ceo.
“Paul rejoined the company last year and played an important role in our transition,” said Cole. “He was instrumental in laying out the company’s new strategic plan, and having him here allowed me to focus on the larger goal of taking the company private again. We have worked together for many years, and I remain appreciative of his ongoing support and friendship.” KCP went private in September, after 18 years as a public company.
Blum added, “I am glad to have had the opportunity to work with Kenneth, and the entire Kenneth Cole organization, again during this critical period for the company. We accomplished a great deal, and I feel the company and its brands are well positioned for future growth.”
Both executives were unavailable for further comment Thursday. The transition will occur at the end of the month.
Blum rejoined KCP in March 2011 as vice chairman and was named ceo two months later, succeeding Jill Granoff. He returned to Cole after five years as ceo of David Yurman. He had previously spent 15 years at Cole in various assignments, including president and chief operating officer.
It’s been a busy time for Cole. Next year will mark the company’s 30th year in business. He is also collaborating with consulting creative director Kobi Halperin, who joined in June. Halperin’s first collection is for spring. Cole plans to return to fashion week with a runway show in February, his first since spring 2006.
In recent interviews, Cole has said that his priority is to focus more on design and getting the brand’s message out to the world, especially through digital marketing.
A spokeswoman said there are no plans to eventually name a new ceo. “We are looking for senior management to further support the team in its new chapter as a private company,” she said.
“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