Founded in 1982 by Kenneth Cole & Sam Edelman, Kenneth Cole is a luxury brand that sells high-end clothing, shoes, and accessories. The majority of its products are being sold in the United States in department stores such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Since its inception, Kenneth cole has gained a number of loyal customers due to the products that it offers that are of good quality for a reasonable price. Although in recent years, the company has been increasing its prices and selling more upscale items.
This shift makes some people ask whether or not Kenneth Cole is now a luxury brand because of its shift to more upscale products. Others suggest that it can compete with luxury brands in the market while others don’t believe. But can Kenneth Cole be considered now as a luxury brand or not?
Is Kenneth Cole A Luxury Brand?
Kenneth Cole is not a luxury brand but a designer label that is accessible to the mass market. This is because its products are not made with the same level of craftsmanship, prestige, and status that luxury brands offer. In addition, many of its products are not worth the luxury price tag.
Here are the reasons why Kenneth Cole is not a luxury brand:
1. The Quality And Designs Are Not There
Kenneth Cole’s products are mass-produced and not handmade like luxury brands. This means that although the quality is sustainable, it is not as good as other luxury items. Also, customers are not paying for the same level of workmanship as what luxury brands offer.
Luxury brands have iconic designs that are instantly recognizable, while Kenneth Cole’s designs are more trendy that change with the times. This means that they are not as timeless or classic as luxury brands.
2. The Brand Is Not As Well-Known
Luxury brands have a long history and are usually household names, while Kenneth Cole is a more modern brand. This lack of recognition can be a deterrent for some people when it comes to purchasing its products.
3. The Affordability
Kenneth Cole’s products are not as expensive as luxury brands. This is because they are mass-produced and made with cheaper materials (compared to the finest materials used for luxury brands). For example, there are items sold by Kenneth Cole that are under $100, while its most expensive items won’t go over $500 on regular pricing. The price range of the brand is one of the biggest indicators that it is not a luxury label.
4. The Materials Used
Luxury brands use the finest materials to make their products, while Kenneth Cole uses cheaper materials in order to keep costs down. For example, Kenneth Cole’s suit for men, which is one of its most expensive products, is said to be made of a polyester-rayon blend (about 65% and 35% respectively) which are the common materials seen in non-luxury items.
In addition, the company sources materials from other parts of the world, depending on the product. For example, most Kenneth Cole watches parts are said to be made in China and not in Switzerland. On the other hand, Timex Group announced in 2018 that Kenneth Cole watches are designed and manufactured by Geneva Watch Group in New York, which is owned by TWB Investments.
5. It Lacks Exclusivity
Luxury brands are exclusive and have a limited number of products made each year. They also have a rigorous selection process for their clientele. Kenneth Cole, on the other hand, is widely available and anyone can purchase its products.
As mentioned, it is easy to find Kenneth Cole products in department stores compared to luxury brands that if not in its exclusive boutique, it can be found in high-end department stores. The company also has an outlet store where it sells its products at a discounted price.
Does Kenneth Cole Hold Value?
Unfortunately, Kenneth Cole products do not hold their value the same way as luxury brands. This is because the brand is more trend-focused and its products are made with cheaper materials which results to affordable price. For example, the price range for men’s products is anywhere between $15 to $500, while $15 to $400 for women’s, which are already considered affordable comparing to luxury brands.
Although some of Kenneth Cole’s designs are classic, such as its suit, they are not on the same level as other luxury brands when it comes to quality and craftsmanship. Also, their products are not as valuable and tend to depreciate in value over time.
The company does have a warranty and replacement policy for its products, which is a good thing. However, this does not change the fact that its products are not made to last a long time like luxury brands.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Kenneth Cole any good?
People are generally dissatisfied with Kenneth Cole products due to the quality of many of its products that are good, but not durable enough to last long. According to the review website, Sitejabber, “Kenneth Cole has a consumer rating of 2.38 stars from 8 reviews.”
Who owns Kenneth Cole?
The company, Kenneth Cole, is owned by Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. This is under the supervision of the company’s chairman, Kenneth Cole, who is an American fashion clothing designer, entrepreneur, and founder of the eponymous company and brand.