Kenneth Cole: Fashion Icon & Agent of Social Change

- Liam Mayclem | KPIX 5 / KCBS
Kenneth Cole & Liam Mayclem (credit: CBS Local)

Kenneth Cole & Liam Mayclem (credit: CBS Local)


SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – For three decades Kenneth Cole, son of a shoemaker, has dressed us up and dressed us down. He has made us think about issues that matter; AIDS, homelessness, poverty, war and more.

Kenneth Cole Inc went public and recently went private with a mission to take “Kenneth Cole” back to its roots.

Cole’s solo journey began in 1982 when he sold shoes out of a truck in Midtown Manhattan under the guise of a movie being made titled “Kenneth Cole Productions.” He sold 40,000 pairs of shoes in three and a half days and quite frankly has not looked back.

It might just have been America’s first fashion “pop-up store.”

Kenneth Cole (credit: Liam Mayclem/CBS Local)

Kenneth Cole (credit: Liam Mayclem/CBS Local)

Kenneth Cole is known as much for his work as a fashion designer as for his social and humanitarian endeavours. He put AIDS out there as a cause we should all be aware of and concerned about in 1985.

Two years before the word AIDS was uttered by then, President Reagan. Cole serves as the chair of amFAR. His own “Kenneth Cole Foundation” is a philanthropic arm of his business that promotes and supports agents of change.

Liam Mayclem caught up with this fashion/social leader and icon during his stop in San Francisco as part of his multi-city speaking tour. He is frank and honest and…yes, he wears “Kenneth Cole.”

VIDEO: Liam Mayclem w/ Fashion Icon Kenneth Cole

"This Is A Kenneth Cole Production" Book (credit: Liam Mayclem/CBS Local)

“This Is A Kenneth Cole Production” Book (credit: Liam Mayclem/CBS Local)

Now with an empire under his belt and provocative ad campaigns behind him, Cole has a book to showcase it all – “This is a Kenneth Cole Production.” It shares with us in stunning photos and words, his glorious 30 year fashion career.

The man, Kenneth Cole attended a book signing at Nordstrom at the Westfield Shopping Center in San Francisco in his honor on Saturday.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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