Kenneth Cole was born in the United States in the late 1950's. A Long Island native, the youthful Cole left home to attend Emory University in Atlanta where he earned a degree in political science and planned to go to law school. He abruptly changed his mind when his father's associate resigned, giving the young Cole an opportunity to follow his father's footsteps into the shoe design business. Previously, Kenneth Cole had considered the design of women's shoes to be the most unmasculine career imaginable, but he relented and joined his father in a business called Candies in 1976. He soon learned that the instant gratification of the trade was fulfilling. Within a matter of weeks his designs were rendered into wearable finished products. During the early 1970s their company began importing French and Italian shoes, which led to the fortune they made on "slides," an inexpensive backless sandal with a wedge heel and colored beads strung on a leather strand.

In 1982, in order to get his shoes in front of the public, he parked a large truck in midtown Manhattan and pretended to shoot a film called "Birth of a Shoe Company". He sold 40,000 pairs of shoes in two and a half days. He was off and running.

In the mid 1980's, he married Maria Cuomo, of the famous New York political family the Cuomos. They have a teenage daughter Amanda. He and his family live in a Stanford White-designed Westchester home.

Kenneth has built a fashion empire out of tailored classics with sharp accents, and he's done it from the shoes up. His womenswear is engaging and informally chic. His pantsuit outfits, coats, dresses and sportswear are the ultimate favourites for New York women.

Kenneth Cole presented his Spring/Summer 2003 collection at Bryant Park, during the New York Fashion Week in September 2002, which was much admired.

Kenneth is getting ready to launch his home line of table-top groupings and accessories for the home. It should be available in the better stores in February 2006.

The Look

Casual urban sophisticate who doesn’t mind walking ten blocks to Soho.

Who Wears It

Lisa Kudrow, Teri Hatcher, Britney Spears, Vanessa Williams


2002 Kenneth Cole (W)
2002 Kenneth Cole (M)
2002 Stir the Air (W)
2002 Stir the Air (M)
2003 Black (M)
2003 White (W)
2004 Reaction (M)
2005 Signature (M)

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