Kenneth Cole teams up with CFDA on award
Kenneth Cole and the Council of Fashion Designers of America are launching a new award together.
Kennneth has teamed up with the non-profit trade organisation on a new scheme to support up-and-coming accessory designers. The accolade will be called the Kenneth Cole Footwear + Accessory Innovation Award and will debut later this month (Nov15), with the winner someone in their senior year at design school who will receive a post-graduate work placement at Kenneth Cole Productions.
There are 14 institutes involved, including the Fashion Institute of Technology and Rhode Island School of Design. The men's and women's accessory design students have been encouraged to submit ideas for a shoe and/or bag, which will be reviewed by Kenneth himself and CFDA experts. In an announcement for the competition, it is stated that there must be a collection concept in the students' submission as well as a “fully envisioned brand story encompassing a social or community-based component".
Kenneth has signed up for a five-year commitment to the venture and is looking forward to helping new emerging talent in the industry. “I am excited to be partnering with the CFDA on a Footwear + Accessory Innovation Program," he said in a statement. "Innovation is what distinguishes each of us from each other, and determines our ongoing viability. It is a powerful tool that I hope the students will embrace.”
If the submissions are strong there could be two winners, and the results are set to be announced in early May 2016.
Kenneth is known for his fresh and unique outlook in the world of fashion - he cast transgender model Andreja Pejić to front his latest campaign, called The Courageous Class. The blonde star underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2014 and Kenneth found himself in awe of her story.
“The Courageous Class is an idea born of the brand’s legacy as an aspirational, urban style brand with a fearless voice for social justice that empowers many to 'Look good, for good,'" he previously explained to The Hollywood Reporter's Pret-a-Reporter. “I had been introduced to Andreja through my work with amfAR and I was immediately inspired by her story and her courage."