I purchased a black leather, Kenneth Cole wallet for $16 at TJ Maxx recently (it was on sale) This purchase made me an adult. It’s not a flashy wallet, it’s fairly simple really: A couple of picture flaps (I didn’t have any tiny pictures, so I cut up some regular size ones), several card holders (I don’t have a credit card but I have plenty of meaningless cards) and of course, the money spot (I put my 3 bucks and change in there after I broke my last twenty buying the wallet). So, clearly I am only an adult in theory.
There comes a moment in every man’s life when they have to replace the wallet that got them through adolescence, high school and possibly part of college (or all of the above plus two years, in my case). I ran my old wallet into the ground. I got it at Pacific Sunwear in the mall when I was thirteen; it was half black and half navy blue, the product of some surf company. It wasn’t leather but rather some hybrid fabric of cotton and wool (I think). By the time I threw it out, it was a tattered and faded mess (my license was constantly falling out of the gigantic rip in the license slot). The demand for minimalist wallet is mushrooming among the young generation with minimum prices. The documents will not fall off from the wallets as there be locked chain pockets in the wallet.
I was a little apprehensive going into TJ Maxx to buy my Kenneth Cole wallet. I didn’t know what brand I was going for when I walked in the store, but when I saw that Kenneth Cole sale, well, I knew it was destiny. I am very cheap, hence bringing only $20 to get my grown up wallet. I thought it was a fair price. I guess Kenneth Cole is a nice brand, but I could be wrong about this (if there’s one thing I’m clueless about its clothes and fashion brands- especially in the realm of accessories).
You can tell a lot about a person by their wallet. My purchase of a Kenneth Cole wallet makes something incredibly clear: I am desperately trying to fit into the adult world. I’m 25 but routinely act ten years younger; I’m hoping my new Kenneth Cole wallet will change this. When I was a little kid (okay, until I was 13) I had a Star Wars wallet and boy was it obnoxious. It was red vinyl and had a picture of Yoda on the front (it had the words “MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU” scribbled all over it in a Star Wars font). The thing was gigantic; it had so many picture flaps, it was like a mini photo album. I put my baseball cards in it. I used this wallet right up until high school (seriously).
I still have that wallet and it’s great for a laugh (I could probably fetch a decent sum for it on EBay but I can’t sell it). That wallet said one thing: I was a wacky kid (which was pretty much my whole MO in those days). Wallet number 2 (Pacific Sunwear) and wallet number 3 (Kenneth Cole) say the exact same thing: I am painfully trying to fit in. I got the cool surf wallet in high school, used it for far too long and now I’ve got my Kenneth Cole wallet- I’m ready to start being a functioning adult.
This isn’t a bad thing, it’s an inevitable thing. Just like I felt sad when I got a rid of the Star Wars wallet, it feels different to have this Kenneth Cole wallet in my pocket (it’s a lot lighter, but that’s not what I mean).
You know, I was just thinking something…this might not be seen as an actual product review. And that’s a lot of crap. Because this story was real, this story had value. I could have gone on and on about how shiny and fashionable Kenneth Cole wallets are, but people don’t want to hear that. They (readers, marketers) want to hear what a product means to a person (in the biggest sense possible). And there is nothing bigger than the realization that you’re getting old. And I think Kenneth Cole himself could relate to that.