Kenneth Cole Productions is heading back to China. The 33-year-old accessories and apparel company has signed a long-term license and distribution agreement with Sitoy Retailing Co. Ltd., which will bring Cole’s brand to the Chinese consumer through all major retail channels beginning this fall. Cole had a previous deal with the Dickson Group in Hong Kong that ended in 2007.
The new license agreement encompasses distribution for women’s and men’s footwear, clothing and accessories under the Kenneth Cole brand.
The first Kenneth Cole store opens this month, at Sogo Causeway Bay in Hong Kong. The store will carry a mix of women’s and men’s footwear, bags and small leather goods. The shop is located on the newly renovated sixth floor of the center and is designed of concrete, metal, stone, glass and leather, reflecting the brand’s industrial heritage.
The plan is to open more than 100 stores in the next five years, a combination of shops-in-shops and independent stores in Hong Kong, mainland China and Macau.
“As we continue to focus on our strategic initiative of international expansion, we could not be more pleased to partner with Sitoy on this venture at this time,” said Marc Schneider, chief executive officer at Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. “We are excited about this partnership and the opportunities it affords us in this growing market.”
“For over 30 years, Kenneth Cole has defined the standard for New York style and social consciousness,” said Andrew Yeung, executive director and head of retailing at Sitoy Retailing Ltd.
In June, Cole forged a U.S. licensing agreement with Global Brands Group Holding Ltd. for men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, as well as handbags under the labels Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction and Unlisted, a Kenneth Cole Production. Cole’s footwear business, which does the lion’s share of the volume at KCP, and for which the brand is known, will remain in-house.