Ruder Finn helps Kenneth Cole show off commitment to social change

The firm will help the fashion brand tell its story as a company that is committed to using its position for good.

NEW YORK: Kenneth Cole Productions has brought on Ruder Finn for support as it unveils a website, launches an ad campaign, and opens a concept store in New York this fall.

The contract will run for five months; work on the account started last month, said Maryam Ayromlou, EVP of media strategy and content at Ruder Finn. Ayromlou is leading account work for the agency.

No RFP was issued for this project. Ayromlou explained that Kenneth Cole selected Ruder Finn based on thought leadership work the firm did with the designer last year on a project basis.

Ruder Finn will help to tell the story of the brand’s commitment to social change in relation to its upcoming launches. Ayromlou said Kenneth Cole has been a pioneer in the social-impact space and has used its business as a force for good.

"We will be telling the brand’s story in the media, at speaking opportunities, and at conferences to elevate Kenneth as a thought leader and an iconic American designer," she added.

Ayromlou said it is too soon to give specific details about the project work.

The footwear and clothing company named Marc Schneider as its CEO in February, with founder Kenneth Cole moving to the role of executive chairman and chief creative officer. It was valued at about $250 million in 2012. Kenneth Cole Productions’ brands include Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction and Unlisted, as well as Gentle Souls footwear.

Budget information for the project was not disclosed.

A representative from Kenneth Cole declined comment.

Ruder Finn reported revenue of nearly $74 million in 2014, including $46 million in the US, up 17% year-over-year globally.

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