NEW YORK — Kenneth Cole's spring campaign, shot by Terry Richardson and breaking in March magazines such as Vogue, Men's Health and Vanity Fair, is intended to celebrate the company's 25th anniversary and also mark the beginning of many changes ahead for the brand.
The campaign features 11 "regular people" who live their lives in nonuniform ways — either by choice or circumstance. Aimee Mullins, for example, is a Paralympic athlete and actor and Channing Moss is a U.S. Army soldier injured in Afghanistan. "We are kind of relaunching the brand this year, so we wanted to do something surprising and different," said Kyle Andrews, senior vice president of marketing. "But we are being true to our heritage of having a strong social message and voice. Going with models didn't feel like the brand. A core element of Kenneth is doing things differently than anyone else would."
There will also be a significant online effort, involving YouTube and viral videos. "We have kennethcole.com at the bottom of our ads now, instead of our logo." She said online represents a much larger portion of the company's marketing effort than ever before, but declined to discuss the money behind it.
Apart from the campaign, rebranding will involve putting more emphasis on the Kenneth Cole New York label. "Customers love it and partners [such as department stores] want it," Andrews said. "It's the brand that we will really showcase now, market, spend more on and talk about the most."
For women, Kenneth Cole Reaction will turn into Kenneth Cole New York by fall and a new men's underwear line will launch in April.
The brand has also asked an outside design firm to work on a redesign for all of its stores and shops-in-shop, such as those at Macy's. Cole himself is working on another book, which will include "big names" and discuss ways to get involved and give back. The designer also is launching a blog in March that will be a forum to discuss the social issues and causes that are important to him.
"We want to get him out there more. He's a great marketing asset," said Andrews. "His guest appearance on 'Ugly Betty' was really successful and the more people see him out there, at events and appearances, the better it is for the brand in the long run."
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)