Old people, Twitter and Kenneth Cole's Reaction

Anissa Ford's picture

Maybe America's older generation needs an elitist hipster lesson on social media. Kenneth Cole's clumsy tweet went viral mostly because the younger generation of social media users found his tweet insensitive.

People's reaction to Kenneth Cole's tweet are less than approving and today Kenneth Cole ranks up there with Terry McMillan on the list of older Americans learning to watch they say on the internet.

Yesterday, American designer Kenneth Cole joked that Egyptians were in the street protesting because they heard his new collection was up and running online.

Cole also left a link to his new collection.

"Moron, insensitive, idiot who thinks in terms of blood dollars." Kenneth Cole is getting the gamut of rebuke from Facebook followers, some who decided to"like" the designer's Facebook page only to barrage it.

Only a few are sympathetic to what many consider to be Cole's clumsy tweet. There's something to be said for an apology, one wrote. Another said screw those who can't take a joke. Another, said he'd forgive the designer if any one of his items were offered at a 50 percent discount.

After the less than humored reaction to his tweet, Cole posted:

"I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt. I've dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate."

While there are those who think Cole's tweet was funny, the large uprising against Kenneth Cole's humor yesterday is rooted in admirable social consciousness and awareness that those Egyptians protesting in the streets right now are by and large people whose average yearly salary is less than $2,000 a year.

Anyone anywhere in the world living on $2,000 a year isn't likely to wear Kenneth Cole's shoes, even on special occasions. But like it or not, Cole has a point--Egyptians can't see his Facebook page and Americans certainly wouldn't tolerate internet disruptions whether they wanted to browse Cole's collection or not.

Kenneth Cole has come a long way in twenty years to become one of the top designers associated with high fashion. Cole's designs are typically found in upper end stores and his ads are found in high fashion magazines.

Kenneth Cole began his business in New York City's fashion district twenty years ago when he wanted to sell his designs---designs he made in European factories to save money---on a 40 foot truck in Manhattan.

Mayor Koch told him only film companies could park 40 foot trailers on the street and not to be outwitted by city regulations, Cole changed the name of his shoe company to Kenneth Cole Productions. He applied for a permit to film the "The Birth of a Shoe Company" and there on 1370 Sixth Avenue, Cole began selling shoes on a 40 foot long borrowed truck.

Because Cole is no stranger to marketing and PR it is not surprising that the designer's 'clumsy tweet' is perceived by some as a PR stunt. In this economy, mortgages and the unemployment rate are hot topics, not expensive fashion designers housed in NYC.

While some say that high fashion and politics don't mix, it seems that old people and tweets don't mix. Terry McMillan had to eat her words last week when she posted, although not in jest, about Will and Jada Smith's kids being pimped and exploited by Hollywood..

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