ATLANTA — Robert Redford and Kenneth Cole had a little fun with each other while discussing some serious issues at the second annual Kenneth Cole Leadership Forum here last week.
Cole explained his interest in social and political issues in a somewhat self-effacing way: "Nobody needs what I’m selling. There’s not a person in America who needs another tie. We all have plenty of white shirts…and surely nobody needs another pair of black shoes. So I’ve got to make this meaningful, because it isn’t, in and of itself."
He then introduced Redford, the forum’s keynote speaker, as "a man who believes that to be aware is more important than what you wear. He even believes that what you stand for is more important than what you stand in. However, we have learned that if we go alone we’ll never be able to change the world. But with Robert Redford’s help, we can all be an accessory."
Redford, wearing a blue suit and open-collar dress shirt, responded that he was "all worried about talking to you guys with a major figure in the fashion industry, but I’m dressed better than he is," nodding at Cole, who was dressed in corduroy pants and a sweater vest.
They both became serious, however, about the forum’s topic at hand: "The Public Trust: Building Community in an Age of Uncertainty." Redford was asked to comment on President Bush’s State of the Union speech the night before. "What a sham and a shame the position on the environment was," he said, adding that the abuse, and disregard for the value of the environment have grown to major proportions. "And to have it continually treated like it’s a threat to economic growth or economic stability is criminal. It’s not just offensive, it’s criminal."
Cole said he did not intend to include any reference to the war on Iraq in future ad campaigns.
"In a time of war, I think it is important for the country to be unified," he said. "We will keep our opinion to ourselves."
Cole told WWD that his next campaign, to be revealed at his fashion show Friday in New York, will take a different, lighter approach. He said, "It’s more of a zen outlook on life and our business — light, candid thoughts about the times.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion