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Leather, Layers and Darkness – Kenneth Cole Collection Fall 2013

Leather, Layers and Darkness – Kenneth Cole Collection Fall 2013

Kenneth Cole at the amfAR Gala

Kenneth Cole is no stranger to the runway.  True, he hasn’t shown a collection in seven years, but the designer has been in the game for three decades so last night’s show wasn’t as much of a comeback as it was a solid reintroduction of the brand to fashion week.

Cole, quite the social media butterfly himself, incorporated social media into the show utilizing clever taglines such as “We don’t care if people love it, we just want them to ‘like’ it” in an opening video and featuring models who carried handheld devices during the finale.

The collection, featuring men’s and women’s looks from Cole and creative director Kobi Halperin, was trés downtown New York City.  From the strategic layering to the dark shades of gray, green, and burgundy, each look was ready to be plucked right off the catwalk by many a New Yorker.

Of course, black was a staple, providing a dark foundation from which to layer bold pieces that could work just as well alone or super-layered as seen on the runway.  And that’s just how I like my layers – dark, plentiful and diverse in texture.

“Urban Liberation,” the collection’s name, is the first to hit the runway since Cole bought his company back from investors in 2012.  In a sense, the show did signify liberation, for both designer and consumer.  The Kenneth Cole brand has always targeted the youthful (not by age, but by lifestyle), urban man or woman and the message was clear last night: Kenneth Cole is looking to the future.  The designer has embraced social media and technology, two factors that will continue to play important roles in the growth of the brand.

Yesterday, for every @KennethCole Twitter follower who used the hashtag #KCRUNWAY, Kenneth Cole Productions pledged to donate $1 to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research that honored the designer at the amfAR gala last night for his dedication to finding a cure for AIDS.

A few more layered looks:

Welcome back to fashion week Mr. Cole!  By the way, I could really use one of these puffer-snoods/neckwarmers today in snowy NYC:

To view the collection in its entirety, visit wwd.com.