Without question we live in a world today where modern technology allows us to control how we are perceived more than ever 

before. Through social media, we can edit our lives and curate our personas. An Instagram feed is not a fly-on-the-wall 

documentary – it is a director’s cut. This season, the Kenneth Cole fashion-show presentation asks: “What’s real and what’s 

for show?” 

Of course, designers know all about creating personas – what else are fashionable clothes than a way of projecting an image of 

who we are, or would like to be, and what we think and where our cultural or urban-tribal allegiances lie. 

Kenneth Cole has always been fascinated by the mash-up of old and new, formal and casual, masculine and feminine, East and 

West – in other words, the look engendered by (and suited to) the melting pot that is his hometown of New York City. In the 

Kenneth Cole Fall/Winter 2014-15 Collection, these cross-references result in a vision of a contemporary Urban Gypsy – a 

woman, or man, whose life is dynamic and shifting, and whose clothing reflects this and a magpie tendency to collate a 

wardrobe made up of references to different cultures.  

Layers of contrasting or complementary fabrics conjure up an eclectic silhouette where volumes are used to surprise. Fabrics 

are fluid and prone to movement – nylon and coated tweeds add to the modern strain running through the collection. A play on 

masculine and feminine sees pinstripes applied to womenswear, even making an appearance on knits and chiffon. Tradition 

and innovation meet in modern fabrications of plaids and herringbones, while there is a constant interplay between the soft and 

the tailored.  

Although this collection has its roots – as all Kenneth Cole collections do – in the energetic and cosmopolitan streets of 

Manhattan, there is a nod to another city in another time. Paris in the Nineties was a place where the traditional Rive Gauche 

culture came face-to-face with the rising stars of Japanese fashion – a marriage that saw esoteric, Eastern, sporty minimalism 

embraced by the home of European fashion classicism. In a similar way, this season Kenneth Cole celebrates a New World 

evolution of fashion, where jersey takes over from materials; technical fabric treatments like backed crepe add casual 

modernity; leather, shearling and printed pony provide substance; and sportswear hoods become newly elegant. 

The whole look is executed in a monotone – black, white and grey dominate, with touches of stronger highlights like chili red. 

The impression is of a subdued pewter color palette, as if everything has been mediated by an Instagram filter. 


The freedom of global travel and the inspiration this provides lie at the root of this collection. The Urban Gypsy employs 

layering for warmth and comfort, and this aesthetic brings a number of styles into play within the same outfit – wrap skirts 

over pants, nylon jackets over knits, shearling over jersey, combined with hats and scarves and hoods. 

Materials and textures are mixed throughout – even plain fabrics have textures. Pinstripes, plaids and herringbones are given 

fresh treatments and applied to unusual fabrics like jersey and chiffon. These traditionally masculine patterns add to the sense 

that men’s fabrications are being applied to womenswear. The pinstripe shirt combined with matching pants, for example, is a 

modern play on a man’s suit – a workplace classic reimagined for a woman. Embroidery running throughout the collection 

adds the appearance of artisanal craftsmanship.   

There is extra volume in many of the pieces, creating a sense of movement. When walking, these clothes flow. Skirts are 

longer, silhouettes are longer – this is part of the spirit of travelling in comfort. Warmth and protection also come from 

leather, shearling and printed pony, and the leather motorcycle jacket, in particular, suggests a rugged edge to the look. This is 

reinforced by the chunky menswear-inspired boots and shoes with their tough soles, and the bags, backpacks, slings, necklaces 

and belts contribute to the impression of a modern, practical,  

nomadic aesthetic. 


LOOK 1: Wool pinstripe double-breasted jacket; chiffon pinstripe wrap-around halter top; wool pinstripe pant; snakeskin belt; 

felt hat; leather/knit fingerless gloves; black leather lace-up combat boot with snakeskin heel. 

LOOK 2: Crepe pinstripe oversized shirt; crepe pinstripe wrap shirt; knit pinstripe flared skirt; knit pinstripe sweatpant; felt 

hat; leather/knit fingerless gloves; black leather cell phone case; white leather buckled bootie with lug sole.  

LOOK 3: Leather and snakeskin moto jacket; crepe shirt with leather collar; wool pinstripe wrap skirt; wool pinstripe straight 

pant; felt hat; leather/knit fingerless gloves; snakeskin shoulder bag; leather lace-up bootie with snakeskin heel.   

LOOK 4: Coated-tweed top with zipper detail; crepe electric-print halter top; two-tone beaded collar; calf-hair static-print 

flared skirt; felt hat; leather/knit fingerless gloves; printed calf-hair shoulder bag; red leather combat boot. 

KEY FABRICS AND PRINTS: Coated tweed, satin-back crepe, chiffon, leather, shearling and pinstripes.  

KEY COLORS: chili red, cool grey, black and white. 

KEY ACCESSORIES: Sporty lug soles make their appearance in both low and high heels, creating a classic Kenneth Cole 

street vibe. Lace-up boots and booties represent a modern twist on the traditional combat boot. Black and white creates stark 

contrast in the footwear, while the use of brushed leathers on modern silhouettes introduces an artisan look, without detracting 

from the contemporary styling – in particular, an exposed zipper-tape enhances the references to sport-tech. The range of 

handbags includes a sporty duffle bag with multiple compartments and detachable strap (enabling different ways to carry it), a 

soft lamb-leather backpack with leather-covered chain, and a soft lamb-leather shoulder bag with covered chain detail. There 

are snake leather oversized clutches, and printed pony cross-body fanny packs. A new shape is the “north/south” messenger 

bag in a combination of printed pony and leather. Small snake-leather necklaces designed to accommodate cell phones and 

small gadgets have gunmetal snake chains, while leather belt bags feature metallic details. For jewelry, there is an 

architectural cuff in two-tone metal (gunmetal and silver), gunmetal snake chain necklaces, and a two-finger ring with 

architectural elements and resin stones. 


There is an explosion of menswear patterns – pinstripes, herringbones and tweeds – and playful abstract graphic treatments of 

fabrics. Texture has an important role too – shearling, leather and hairy fabrics abound, creating volume. The focus on pattern 

and texture adds interest to a color palette that is resolutely subdued and masculine. Black, white and grey are infused with 

shades of port, dark red, and this tight spectrum extends to the accessories too. 

The mood is casual and relaxed, with tailoring mixed with street- and sports-style pieces; luxury sweatpants, detachable zip- 

out hoods, and winter shorts stand out, while warm outerwear (parkas and wool overcoats in particular) forms the basis of 

many outfits. 

This is a collection designed for living in, for an on-the-go lifestyle. Comfort fabrics mix with tough, rugged leather jackets 

and walking boots to present a very twenty-first century vision of how men dress. It’s not about the office, or the weekend. 

It’s about the extraordinary variety of modern life. 


LOOK 1: Neoprene/shearling coat; wool pinstripe single-breasted jacket; woven button-front shirt; silk tie; wool pinstripe 

pull-on pant; black leather buckled boot.   

LOOK 2: Wool pinstripe double-breasted blazer; woven button-front shirt; silk tie; wool inverted-pleat pant; felt hat; 

leather/knit fingerless gloves; black leather backpack; black leather  

buckled boot.  

LOOK 3: Tweed car coat; herringbone single-breasted blazer; woven button-front shirt; silk tie; knit pinstripe drawstring pant; 

hooded snood; black leather tote; leather/calf-hair lace-up wallaby.  

LOOK 4: Wool shawl-lapel single-breasted jacket; woven spread-collar shirt; silk/leather bow tie; knit tuxedo pant; black 

leather lace-up/Velcro boot. 

KEY FABRICS AND PRINTS: pinstripes, herringbone, tweed, shearling, leather, neoprene, mixed media, iridescent suiting, 

and nylon. 

KEY COLORS: black, white and grey, shades of port, dark red and ink. 

KEY ACCESSORIES: Bags are soft and easy to carry, with comfortable handles and shoulder straps. Boots are high on the 

ankle, with military-style rugged soles, while shoes are plain and substantial, and like the boots, also feature lug soles with a 

deep tread. 

Photographed by – VITAL AGIBALOW