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Kenneth Cole has closed its Westfield San Francisco Centre store, leaving the brand without a San Francisco flagship for the first time in almost 30 years. A tipster alerted us to the shuttering earlier this week after noticing that signage had disappeared from the store's Fifth Street windows and the store was no longer listed on the company's website. Though Kenneth Cole shoes, bags, and apparel are still available at other stores in San Francisco (and even in the Westfield mall), the news is somewhat heartbreaking considering the company's storied connection with the Bay Area.
Two years ago, Kenneth Cole (the man) told Racked, "I love San Francisco. My first store —in 1985— was in New York on Columbus Avenue. My second one, a year later, was on Union Street in San Francisco... I love the spirit, the energy, the culture. I love the open, more progressive way people embrace community and think about social issues. And also fashion."
Racked reached out to Kenneth Cole (the brand) to find out if the store would be relocating. The official response from the company is, well, exceptionally official. A rep writes, "At Kenneth Cole, our goal is to provide high-quality, on-trend products that are true to our brand's heritage and relevant to our rapidly changing world. To ensure that our business is well-positioned to deliver on this commitment, we are working on a new and best-in class shopping experience for our customers. In addition to optimizing our e-commerce business and enhancing our online offering, we are also working on a new retail concept for our flagship stores. While this initiative to rethink and reinvigorate our online and retail footprint will involve the closing some of our older stores in the U.S., our products will continue to be sold online at kennethcole.com and in outlets, as well as in department and specialty stores."
So…yeah. It sounds like the store is closed.