Kenneth Cole is betting big on wellness with a six-piece range of CBD-based skin and body care products housed in sleek black packaging. 

The brand, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, has always been mission-driven, focused on social impact, mental health and wellness. In 2019, Cole formed The Mental Health Coalition, a group of mental health organizations, brands and leaders committed to igniting conversation, providing resources and destigmatizing the subject. Last month the brand also unveiled its “Always on Purpose” positioning, which is reflected in the wellness-focused CBD line. 

“We’re in the feel-good business, both physically and emotionally, and CBD is a place that covers both of those things,” said Kenneth Cole president Jed Berger. “Now is the exact right time in this point of our evolution to bring [this to] customers. It’s incredibly attribute-driven. Every single product has a distinct reason for being.” 

The line, which will be available on the brand’s site and at Temporary by Kenneth Cole in New York City, includes Clean Slate, $35, a natural facial cleanser; Save Face, $55, a facial moisturizing cream; Dream On, $55, an antiaging night serum; That’s Better, $60, a muscle relief cream; Feel Good, $50, a joint relief salve, and Easy Glow, $35, a roll-on replenishing eye stick, which is a fan favorite at the company’s office. These products were formulated in collaboration with manufacturer Hemp2Lab and use a proprietary water-soluble delivery system that allows for maximum absorption. 

“Not only is this delivery system effective for skin rejuvenation, and repair, it’s also very effective for muscle relief and joint relief,” said Hemp2Lab’s president and chief executive officer Bill Margaritis. 

With the launch, Kenneth Cole and Hemp2Lab had younger consumers in mind.

“Our ingredient profile really targets the younger professional first and foremost, but that does not mean that they’re not applicable to all demographic segments of the market,” Margaritis said.

Aside from CBD and CBG for relief and reduced inflammation, the products employ other hero ingredients, including hyaluronic acid peptides to boost collagen, squalane to add moisture and botanical extracts to replenish the skin. 

While Kenneth Cole has dipped its toes into the topicals world with fragrance, CBD care is a newer foray, which the brand views as a category within a larger wellness division to be built out in the future. 

“There’s a big opportunity,” Berger said. “This isn’t the only product that we’re looking into.…There are other wellness categories that are interesting to us today that we’re not in.” 

As a private company, the brand declined to share sales figures for the launch, but industry sources estimate the line could do between $1 million and $2 million in sales its first year. 

While CBD skin and body care has been trending for awhile, the Kenneth Cole team is aiming to continue planting its flag within the wellness industry by bringing these attribute-driven products to market. 

“I understand that social impact and social purpose are trendy. This is not trendy for this man or for this brand. This brand has been 40 years committed to being on purpose. That is in the DNA, what the company is rooted in. The topicals is an extension of that, and I look at this as a wellness division. This is not a one-off,” Berger said.

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