It seems fitting that Kenneth’s workspace overlooks the Hudson with a direct view of the Intrepid—distinctly New York views for a distinctly New York man. From an antique shoeshine kit to a never-empty bowl of M&M’s, his office is a blend of old and new. There’s art he’s collected from around the world (most is shoe-related, of course), stacks of sketches, ads from years past, and a generous peppering of tchotchkes affectionately referred to as “items of curiosity.” Below, he gives us the story behind some of his favorites.
1. “I purchased this antique desk lamp many years ago at a flea market in London.”
2. “I drink my coffee out of this company mug every morning because I like to start my day ‘branded.’”
3. My favorite candies are M&Ms. They sit in the same crystal bowl we gift to all our associates on their 5-year anniversaries.
1. “This watch is from a cool New York designer who marries function and style. One guess who it is.”
2. “This antique shoeshine kit was a gift from my wife and has turned into a functional desktop accessory.”
3. “This pin commemorates the beginning of my journey as a UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador.”
1. “I received these glasses as a gift for speaking at Emory’s Class Day. As an alumnus, it was a special honor.”
2. “One of our very first ads.”
3. “A thank you from the workers at the Rebuild Globally shoe factory in Haiti and a constant reminder that to be aware is more important than what you wear.”
1. “I found this antique man on one of my Europe trips many years ago.”
2. “An old shoe that was repurposed as a lamp to shine a light on my roots.”
1. “This is the original plaque from the building that has been home to Kenneth Cole Productions for the last 20 years.”
2. “Hands down, probably the most iconic ad we’ve done.”
3. “A mantra for the Kenneth Cole foundation, and a reminder of what we stand for.”