To coincide with the brand's 30th birthday, Kenneth Cole will release a new line of higher-priced women's and men's sportswear, dubbed the Kenneth Cole Collection. The designer hopes to use the $400 dresses and $900 outerwear — there's $130 button-down shirts and $598 coats for the gents — to reintroduce himself to the "Kenneth Cole woman," and "speak to her in a more elevated and engaged manner." He imagines his customer to be "a very confident, sophisticated" member of the female persuasion "who knows what she likes. ... She is working, has a job and she can afford it."
After losing $2.9 million on $478.9 million in revenues last year, Kenneth Cole Productions also plans to reintegrate wholesale distribution of women's footwear and handbags, and to redevelop its Kenneth Cole New York labels for fall. Several weeks ago, Cole even offered to buy back his own company (which he declined to discuss this time around with WWD). But not all birthday wishes come true.
See a preview of the Kenneth Cole Collection.