Kenneth Cole Reflects on 40 Years and His Favorite Ad Taglines Through the Years

Throughout the years, Kenneth Cole has used his platform to support a range of social justice movements, most recently focusing on ending mental health stigmas. The designer has also been known for his eye-brow-raising ads that have tackled controversial topics such as gun reform, the Iraq war, climate change and much more.

On Tuesday night in New York, Cole hosted his 40th anniversary party on the rooftop of the brand’s headquarters and reflected on some of his favorite campaign taglines over four decades.

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We all walk in different shoes.

“I feel that reflects the notion of diversity, DEI acceptance and understanding each other for who they are and their terms. And that’s something we’ve just tried to do, as a business, as a brand, personally, professionally, collectively,” said Cole.

What you stand for is even more important than what you stand in.

“This is the notion that you need to come outside yourself. Sometimes we take what we do, who we are, what we wear, and we make it maybe bigger than it needs to be. The fact is the greater context is more important than the content.”

You can change your outfit, you can outfit change.

“That’s the ultimate challenge,” he said. “How do we do what we do in the ordinary course and connect it to something bigger? And that’s something I’ve tried to do for 40 years, and still try to do.”

It’s great to be known for your shoes, but it’s even better to be known for your soul.

“This line is personal. I think somehow metaphorically, it’s bigger than that, and speaks to everybody in different ways. And it’s about why do we do what we do? What is the significance of what we do? And does it matter? And if so, in the end, what does it all mean? So these are questions we all ask ourselves.”

During the event, there were performances from Cole Redding and Eyeglass Strings. Guests included Allison Holker, Rachel Recchia, Afiya Bennett, Tyroe Muhafidin, Shaun Ross, among others.

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