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."
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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