Footwear Industry Reflects on 9/11

Ten years after the epic terrorist attacks on the U.S., the footwear industry is looking back at an event that changed the course of the country. Here, three New York-based companies share their thoughts about the tragedy.
Kenneth Cole, founder, Kenneth Cole Productions:
“We opened New York Fashion Week on Sept. 10, 2001, with a highly publicized runway show at Rockefeller Center that was nationally telecasted live by NBC. Exactly 24 hours after our show, the world as we knew it changed with a single act of violence unlike anything this country had ever experienced.”
Jeffrey Kalinsky, founder, Jeffrey New York:
“That moment was confusing. I really didn’t know what to do and I really didn’t know what it all meant.I remember that I really didn’t want to leave the store because I didn’t want to be alone. To me, [the 9/11 anniversary] is about the families that lost something. It’s about the heroes who risked something and worked so hard and risked their lives being down there. My heart goes out to them, and that’s what it’s about to me.”
Danny Wasserman, owner, Tip Top Shoes:
“It was early morning in the store when I heard the first plane crash into the building. After that, everyone was glued to the radio and TV. Days later, it hit home much more. Everyone was in shock trying to figure out what to do. Personally, I didn’t know anyone who was there. But I keep thinking about the kids [whose] parents were in that tower. The feeling is a difficult thing to describe. It’s a horrific event, and there are not a lot of things you can compare it to. Sept. 11 changed the lives of generations.”

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