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Kenneth Cole Marks 30 Years With Ad Campaigns

Several initiatives celebrate the designer’s penchant for thought-provoking campaigns that often touch on social issues.

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NEW YORK — Kenneth Cole is marking his brand’s 30th anniversary with several initiatives celebrating the designer’s penchant for thought-provoking campaigns that often touch on social issues.

Among them is the spring campaign, which will run in select March and April magazines, featuring the memorable tag line “Is It What We Stand For, What We Stand In or That We’re Still Standing?” It was shot by Sharif Hamza at the New Jersey River Terminal. Cole tapped models Catherine McNeal and David Agbodji to display the clothes in an urban environment. Hamza, a fashion photographer and filmmaker, also made a short video of the models that will be available for viewing at kennethcole.com and within Cole’s network of boutiques.

As part of the overall campaign, there is an online teaser that will lead to an all-encompassing digital retrospective of Cole’s campaigns over the past three decades. It is scheduled to be unveiled during the second half. The first teaser, narrated by Cole himself, will be unveiled at kennethcole.com on Feb. 7. Overall, there will be six such short films that offer a glimpse into Cole’s philosophy behind the campaigns. The shorts will live on a microsite at 30yearsbold.com, and in another Cole-ism, viewers will be encouraged to view them via the “See Now What We Dared to Say Then” tag line.

Cole also is narrating the first short film about his history of providing the industry with provocative campaigns, as well as the thinking behind compiling a retrospective now. Viewers can share the content on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest.

“Over the years we’ve sought to create a brand by taking risks and making statements that others hadn’t and in ways that others wouldn’t,” Cole said. “So as we head into our 30th anniversary, it is important for me to create a campaign that not only celebrates that effort and that unique voice but, at the same time, pays tribute to our heritage.”