“I’m fascinated by Eighties Harlem chic,” Kenneth Cole said during his spring presentation. “I love the convergence of all these cultures and how it feels now that they’re all starting to blend together.”
Cole executed his melting-pot motif with a range of stylistic references — tropical prints, animal motifs, athletic, urban-tough, to state a few. For women, these were worked into moto and bomber jackets, track pants and fit-and-flare skirts. A T-shirt with ocelot-pattern sleeves was shown with a kicky orange skirt — a key example of how a look can be street-smart without forsaking commercial polish.
A dose of 125th Street swagger was also delivered in the men’s looks that married classic office attire — a staple of Cole’s business — with streetwear pieces, i.e., one outfit that combined a shirt, tie and salmon-hued sweater with boxy leather shorts and high-top sneakers. Mesh T-shirts and leather vests with zipper details contributed to the youthful edge, leavened by more straightforward sportswear from Cole’s contemporary wheelhouse.