The son of a shoe manufacturer, American born Kenneth Cole decided to go into the family business after studying law at Emory University in Atlanta
. After spending all his funds in Europe to see his shoe designs come to fruition, he was unable to afford an official showroom during a shoe show in New York City in 1982. He came up with the idea of renting a cheap production trailer, parked it nearby and hired a “director” and “actresses” to film a feature film, “The Birth of a Shoe Company”. This...
resulted in the sale of 40,000 pairs of shoes in just under three days and the start of his empire. To this day the company is still called Kenneth Cole Productions in homage to his start.
Kenneth Cole Productions went public in 1994 and has been included on Forges annual list of 200 Best Small companies four times. Still known mainly for its shoes, Kenneth Cole Productions has since branched into men’s and women clothing, accessories and fragrances and has licensed its name to produce watches, luggage and eyewear.
Their first fragrance a men’s cologne, Black, was introduced in 2003 while the women’s perfume, Black for Women was launched the following year. Also in 2004 men’s cologne Kenneth Cole Reaction and women’s perfume Kenneth Cole Reaction for Her was introduced while the Kenneth Cole Signature line was brought out the next year. Other popular men’s colognes include Kenneth Cole Vintage Connected, Kenneth Cole Vintage Black and Vintage Black.