SOLE: The Impact of Kenneth Cole

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: Documentary
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production


With heart and 'sole', designer Kenneth Cole has put ‘cause' before ‘commerce’ for 40 years, igniting social awareness and change.


With heart and 'sole', designer Kenneth Cole has put ‘cause' before ‘commerce’ for 40 years, igniting social awareness and change. Kenneth Cole’s commitment to AIDS, Homelessness, LGBTQIA+ Rights, Civil Liberties, Social Justice and now Mental Health has given voice to the voiceless, defied and shattered stigmas, provoked conversation, built coalitions and inspired and empowered action for good.


Over the decades, I have always been aware of the many provocative and very clever Kenneth Cole Ad campaigns fusing cause and commerce. I knew Kenneth Cole had risked his company by fighting to eradicate the stigma associated with AIDS in the 1980’s when no one else was willing talking about it. Too risky. Time and again Kenneth Cole Productions set the bar for Corporate Social Responsibility when that sort of thing wasn’t in fashion. But it wasn’t until 2017, when I partnered with Kenneth Cole Productions (KCP) to advocate for LGBQTIA+ rights, that I saw, first hand, the depth of passion, commitment and determination behind the advocacy. The partnership was on behalf of my Broadway Musical THE PROM, that tells the story of two High School girls who want to attend their Prom together, and the shocking fall-out that happened as a result. Inspired by true events, the show celebrates acceptance and tolerance. It was at this time I began to understand KCP’s epic accomplishments and became aware of the company’s likely new focus: to build a massive coalition to eradicate the stigma around Mental Health. It was then that I started to contemplate a documentary that would drive focus to their formidable work. I wanted to make a film that inspire purposed in others. I believe that life-long ‘study’ of Kenneth’s social activism, plus the on-the-ground, social immersion with Kenneth and his team, gives me a unique vantage point a as a storyteller.


Elisa Bonora - Editor
Elisa Bonora has had an extensive career in editing and production, in both long and short formats. In 2019, she edited the Sundance Grand Jury nominated film David Crosby: Remember My Name, produced by Cameron Crowe. In 2014, she was nominated for an ACE and an Emmy Award for her work in the documentary films Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me and No Subtitles Necessary, Laszlo and Villas, respectively. In 2002, she started her long-format career when Oliver Stone asked her to edit Comandante, a feature-length documentary on Fidel Castro and Cuba. She edited a second Oliver Stone documentary, South of the Border, which premiered at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. In 2012, she was the additional editor on Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s documentary Blackfish, which was shortlisted for the Oscars and received an ACE Eddie nomination.


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