Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. is an American fashion house founded in 1982 by Kenneth Cole. He originally named the company Kenneth Cole Incorporated in September 1982 and planned to showcase his new line of shoes during market week at the Hilton Hotel in New York. Finding that he could not afford to purchase a hotel room or showroom to exhibit his line, he borrowed a truck and asked the mayor’s office for permission to park two blocks away from the Hilton Hotel in front of a fancy shoe building. Upon learning that permits were only granted to utility companies and production companies shooting full-length motion pictures, Cole changed the name of the company to Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. and applied for a permit to shoot a full-length motion picture entitled “The Birth of a Shoe Company”.
With Kenneth Cole Productions painted on the side of the truck, they opened for business on December 2, 1982, in front of 1370 Avenue of the Americas. They had a fully furnished forty-foot trailer, klieg lights, a director, a rolling camera, models as actresses, and two NYPD policemen as doormen. A velvet rope allowed a limited number of people in the trailers and in two and a half days they sold forty thousand pairs of shoes. The company remains Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. to this day to honor this unusual beginning.
In 1985, Kenneth Cole opened his first store on Columbus Avenue in Manhattan, followed shortly thereafter by another store on Union Street in San Francisco. Kenneth Cole retail and Company Stores can now be found worldwide in countries such as Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Israel, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Australia and South Africa.