What started out as his father’s shoe factory, Kenneth Cole has taken to incredible heights officially launching his first line of women’s shoes in 1982 as Kenneth Cole Productions. Born in 1954, Kenneth Cole is an American clothing designer and is the kind of resourceful entrepreneur we should all aspire to be. Wanting to preview his new line of shoes at Market Week in New York City at the Hilton Hotel, he realized he did not have the money to rent a space at the Market. He then inquired about renting a parking space two blocks from the hotel but was not able to attain the necessary permits to set up and panhandle his shoe line because the City of New York would only grant permits to utility and production companies during Market Week. Cole quickly changed the name of his company from Kenneth Cole Inc. to Kenneth Cole Productions and reapplied for the parking space permits. Cole was granted his permits, and a shoe company was born!
In the two and a half days in the rented space, Cole sold 40,000 pairs of shoes. In 1994, Cole took his company public and was featured on the Forbes 200 list four different times, but soon after brought his company back to private status in order to regain full control of Kenneth Cole Productions.
Today, Kenneth Cole Productions and its website kennethcole.com are one the most powerful clothing sites on the internet. With a full line of women’s and men’s clothing, appeal, shoes, bags, luggage, watches, and accessories, Kenneth Cole is not only keeping up with modern day retail solutions, they are creating innovations of their own with Techni-Cole™ microclimate design system for footwear.