Second City Style's Heather Youkhana, Kenneth Cole and Carol Calacci
We were totally excited to meet Kenneth Cole, who was at the Michigan Avenue store in Chicago last night for the Silver Edition 925 Chicago Launch Party. This shoe technology dead-on for Chicago women. They are constantly asking for fashionable shoes "But those are too high" "But I need to walk in them" and "I just can't bare the pain of looking fashionable any more!" I know… I have heard some horrible, really bad things regarding footwear.
But Kenneth Cole came to the rescue! "Starting this November life for many will never feel the same again (below the ankles)." (-His campaign quote for 925 Technology)
When we met I had to ask him about the creative approach to his business and advertising with these provocative lines.
SCS: Do you cone up with these lines or do you know how to hire the right people?
KC: "I believe in saying as much as you can …in less words! You can tell a story with one compelling message. I said "Our movement is to support movement." and for this product line it was "to create the most comfortable shoe that you ever looked good in…" still a feminine and pretty shoe!"
Oh so important, I thought. And pretty they are. I love the classic pointed flat with a silver heel. The bootie has just the right cut – curved under the ankle to be flattering both with tights and skirts as well as under pants.
KC: I used to spend most of my time designing a cool compelling product, now I spent years on the comfort and fit. People are far more discriminating. These days it is important to sell a "feel good" product. In the launch in New York 1500 people lined up the product line sold out in 3 hours! …And there is something else I wanted to tell you about – The AWEARNESS Fund.
(I actually was aware of the charities that he serves, there is a compelling, yes it is compelling, section on his site about the program and how he supports many different deserving charities.)
KC: He gestured to a display. If you purchase these boots, 100% of the net profits of the sales will go to The AWEARNESS Fund to support HIV/AIDS research.
"Save a Hide…Wear A Rubber (Boot)." is the campaign. (we aha and smile) They are available for both men and women…"
SCS: "I see that they come in alligator."
KC:"Yes, genuine alligator…(rubber)." he joked back.
SCS: "One last thing I have to tell you…I always think of everything in this store and the label Kenneth Cole as cool.
KC: Yes, but I'm not so cool!
Talking and laughing with the mastermind behind the brand that I have loved and had in my closet for so many years actually was… very cool!
I think these boots can be a great holiday gift! Everyone needs rubber boots in Chicago and you (and the receiver of the gift) can feel good about giving to charity the same time. I really do like the "alligator."
The store manager showed us why these shoes feel so good! They also have a rubber sole which is so important for walking on wet pavement. I tried on several pairs and they were indeed comfortable. I was able to jump around in them. I actually did that. Even in the highest heels!
— Carol Calacci
Photos: Second City StyleSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40