Kenneth Cole is ramping up international expansion through a new deal with Global Brands Group.
GBG Europe Footwear and Accessories Ltd. — a subsidiary of Global Brands — will distribute Kenneth Cole shoes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Starting with the fall ’18 season, GBG will target top retailers in key fashion cities, including London, Paris, Milan and Berlin. Kenneth Cole New York, Reaction Kenneth Cole and the Gentle Souls women’s collection will be the focus.
GBG will also manufacture and distribute women’s handbags under the Kenneth Cole New York and Reaction Kenneth Cole labels beginning with the spring ’19 season. The deal also allows GBG to produce and sell briefcases, luggage, portfolios, backpacks and small leather goods.
“We are looking forward to having a Central European-based partner who specializes in footwear and is able to offer best-in-class service to department stores and independent retailers in these regions,” Marc Schneider, Kenneth Cole’s CEO, said in a statement. “We are excited about this partnership and the growth opportunities it affords us in these categories of our business.”
“Kenneth Cole and his brand had defined the standard for New York style and social consciousness for more than three decades,” added Mike Hiscock of Global Brands Group Holding Ltd. “We believe [the label] has tremendous potential to resonate with consumers far beyond the levels it is currently reaching.”
In addition to Kenneth Cole, Global Brands — which is part of the Fung Group — works with a diverse group of brands, including Under Armour, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade New York, Katy Perry and All Saints, among others.