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.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye