Last Updated: December 21, 2023
Info
Category:
Richest BusinessDesigners
Net Worth:
$200 Million
Birthdate:
Mar 23, 1954 (69 years old)
Birthplace:
Brooklyn
Gender:
Male
Profession:
Fashion designer, Designer, Film Producer, Entrepreneur
Nationality:
United States of America
💰 Compare Kenneth Cole's Net Worth

What is Kenneth Cole's Net Worth?

Kenneth Cole is an American fashion designer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who has a net worth of $200 million. Kenneth Cole is known for his eponymous fashion house that he founded in 1982. The company creates clothing and other products under the labels Kenneth Cole New York, Reaction Kenneth Cole, Unlisted, and Gentle Souls. Through the company, Cole has been involved in numerous charitable endeavors, most notably ones related to AIDS awareness and research.

Kenneth Cole Productions went public in 1994. The company's IPO was priced at $12 per share, which was below the expected price range of $13 to $15 per share​​. In 1994, the company had grown from a $5 million operation in 1982 to sales of $84.9 million. In June 2012 Kenneth Cole's board approved a plan for Mr. Cole to take the company private. Prior to the agreement, Cole owned 46% of the company's shares and had 89% of the voting rights. He took the company private at a valuation of $245 million.

Personal Life & Cuomo Connection

In 1987, Cole married Maria Cuomo, the daughter of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and the sister of former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and television journalist Chris Cuomo. The couple has three daughters named Emily, Amanda, and Catie, and resides on an 11.35-acre estate in Purchase, New York.

Real Estate

In March 2000 Kenneth and Maria paid $11.2 million for a 6,200 square foot co-op at 927 Fifth Avenue in New York City. They listed this apartment for sale just three years later in January 2003 for $14.9 million. They reportedly never moved into the home and instead spent their three years performing several million dollars worth of renovations.

In March 2008 Kenneth and Maria paid $14.5 million for a co-op at One Sutton Place in Manhattan.

In February 2009 they sold a penthouse at 101 West 79th street for $12.5 million.

Their 11-acre Purchase, NY property features an 10,000 square foot mansion that was built in 1912. Today this home is likely worth $10 million or more.

Early Life and Education

Kenneth Cole was born on March 23, 1954 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City into a Jewish family. His father, Charles, owned the El Greco shoe manufacturing company. Cole attended John L. Miller Great Neck North High School, graduating in 1972. He then studied at Emory University, from which he graduated in 1976.

Kenneth Cole Productions

In 1982, Cole founded his own eponymous fashion company. He planned to showcase his line of shoes at the New York Shoe Expo at the New York Hilton, but was unable to afford a hotel room or showroom to do so. Consequently, Cole asked about parking a trailer two blocks from the hotel to show his wares. When he learned that permits for trailers were only granted to utility and production companies, he changed the name of his company to Kenneth Cole Productions so he could secure a permit to shoot a film based on his shoe line. This scheme was wildly successful, with Cole selling 40,000 pairs of shoes in just over two days as he filmed the birth of his enterprise.

Cole opened his first retail store, on Columbus Avenue in Manhattan, in 1984. That was soon followed by another store on Union Street in San Francisco, California. A decade later, Cole took the company public. Kenneth Cole Productions has since opened stores all around the world. The company sells clothing and accessories under various labels, including Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Unlisted, and Gentle Souls. It also has a range of partnerships for the production of fragrances, watches, and eyewear, among other products.

(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Charitable Endeavors

Through his company, Cole has been active in various charitable causes, most notably in supporting AIDS awareness and research. He established a reputation for his socially conscious advertising, including his high-profile public service campaigns featuring celebrities. In 1987, Cole became a board member of the nonprofit AIDS research foundation amfAR, and in 2005 became the organization's chairman. He stepped down as chairman in early 2018 after a federal investigation was opened into alleged fraud and money laundering.

In his other charitable endeavors, Cole has been involved with HELP USA, a nonprofit that provides housing, jobs, and various services to the houseless. Elsewhere, he has established relief funds for victims of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina; supported child suicide awareness; and hosted numerous charity shopping nights at his retail stores. In 2020, Cole founded the Mental Health Coalition, which works to eradicate the stigma around mental health and improve the way people address mental illness.

Kenneth Cole

Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images

Books

Cole has penned some books focused on entrepreneurship, business advice, and philanthropy. His first title, "Footnotes: What You Stand for is More Important Than What You Stand In," was published in 2003. That was followed in 2008 by "Awearness: Inspiring Stories About How to Make a Difference." In 2013, Cole published his third book, "This is a Kenneth Cole Production."

Honors and Awards

Cole has been the recipient of a myriad of honors over the years. In 1998, he was voted People magazine's "Sexiest Businessman of the Year." Later, in 2009, he was honored with the Legal Aid Society of New York City's inaugural Theodore Roosevelt Corporate Award. Cole became a UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador in 2016, and in 2017 earned the CFDA Swarovski Award for Positive Change. Among his other accolades, he received the American Apparel and Footwear Association's Person of the Year Award in 2020, and the Suicide Prevention Champion Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Child Mind in 2022.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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