Kenneth Cole's company will be turning 30 next year, and the founder of the global brand is reflecting on its heritage with a new, higher-end line. "Kenneth Cole Collection
is made for our same modern, urban customer," the designer explained at a launch preview last night, "but elevated in quality of construction, materials, and styling." The presentation at Cedar Lake featured life-size video installations of models along with recordings of their voices delivering the kind of bons mots that Cole has made his calling card over the years. "Some are attractive. Some are sexy. Few are available," said one. Highlights for women included a slick patent leather bomber jacket, deep oxblood haircalf pencil skirts and peplum belts, and a crocodile-print shift. On another exotic note, a cobalt blue python backpack was sporty chic at its best. The street-ready menswear had a slight military influence to it, seen in quilted wool parkas and lace-up leather boots. Few contemporary labels manage to strike the on-trend-but-not-too-trendy balance as well as Cole has here.