Risky Business: Kenneth Cole Talks Taking Risks in Business in Success Magazine

June 29, 2010

My friend Lilly has always read SUCCESS magazine, because she is the president of a Fortune 1000 company, it was a given that she would have a subscription to it.  I never really thought to pick up a copy of the magazine because I didn’t think it had anything in there that would be beneficial to my pursuit of fashion.  I recently received a copy of the July issue of SUCCESS magazine – available now on newsstands – with renowned designer Kenneth Cole on the cover.  I have to say I was curious to read about Cole’s success and how he’s stayed relevant and still successful in a recession.  The revealing interview starts of with a younger Cole, in the mid-80s trying to decide whether to go to law school or pursue shoe design, something his dad was involved in.

When first starting out, Cole knew he had to think outside the shoebox to get consumers’ attention, and encourages other hopefuls to do so, too, “The lessons learned are that usually the best solutions are not the most expensive; in fact, they’re the most creative….”  In his first year of designing shoes, Cole had to get shoe buyers to buy his shoes at a trade show. Instead of setting up inside the shoe buying trade show, he talks about borrowing a film truck, hiring actors and getting a permit to shoot a movie in front of a shoe buyers event in order to get attention from buyers.

Cole knows the secret to success is remaining adaptable and staying relevant, “The one great thing about the fashion business is it’s built on the notion of change. Every day you have got to be open to reconfigure and recalculate.”

I suggest to all my readers looking to start a business or breathe new life into an existing one to purchase this copy of SUCCESS magazine. I got a few ideas from reading the Kenneth Cole interview and am actually thinking of buying a year long subscription of the magazine.

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