Top US fashion designer Kenneth Cole started his empire in 1982 by making a hoax movie that has never been seen.
The 52-year-old Brooklyn-born footwear and fine clothing stylist was struggling with his idea to start a shoe company and felt traditional methods of jumping into the fashion world would be too slow and costly.
So, instead he convinced authorities he was making a movie across the road from a major New York fashion industry showcase in New York – and he sold his shoes from the back of a 40-foot trailer.
“I called the Mayor’s office and said, `Excuse me Mr Mayor, how does one get permission to park a 40-foot trailer on the corner of 6th Avenue and 56th Street in two weeks?’ “The answer is, `Son, you don’t. This is New York.’” he says.
But when Cole learned that permission could be granted by Ed Koch if he was part of a production company making a movie, he decided to turn his trailer-launch into a film.
“I changed the name of the company… from Kenneth Cole Inc to Kenneth Cole Productions Inc, filed for a permit the following morning with the city to shoot a full length motion picture called THE BIRTH OF A SHOE COMPANY,” he added. “I opened on December 2nd with two New York City policemen as our doormen… and we sold 40,000 pairs of shoes in two days.”
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