About Kenneth Cole

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For 25 years, Kenneth Cole has been a successful designer and entrepreneur, bringing New York fashion sensibility to his customers while using his advertising and marketing to raise awareness of social issues such as AIDS and homelessness. Mr. Cole was one of the first people to use advertising campaigns to speak out about the issue of AIDS in 1985, two years before President Ronald Reagan acknowledged the crisis. Mr. Cole joined amfAR’s board of directors in July 1987, became vice chairman in April 2002, and was named chairman of the board on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2004. Mr. Cole designs and donates most of amfAR’s annual creative advertising, including the outdoor campaign, which first appeared in 1996. He donates a generous portion of his company’s retail sales on World AIDS Day to amfAR each year and has initiated public awareness efforts annually since 1985.

Kenneth Cole Productions is one of the most widely revered and consistently focused fashion houses, with retail sales in excess of a billion dollars. Mr. Cole goes far beyond lending his name to a line of clothing and accessories; he is the ultimate driving force and creative director in all areas from design to marketing. Fall 2008 marked the 25th anniversary of Kenneth Cole Productions and the publication of AWEARNESS: Inspiring Stories About How to Make a Difference, an engaging, informative, and empowering collection of 86 essays by and conversations with individuals who have been inspired to do their part to effect meaningful social change. In 2008, Mr. Cole also launched the AWEARNESS fund, a not-for-profit initiative that encourages, empowers, and supports acts of service, volunteerism, and social change.

In addition to his commitment to amfAR and the fight against AIDS, Mr. Cole sits on the board of HELP USA, the nation’s largest provider of homes, jobs, and services for the homeless, which is chaired by his wife, Maria Cuomo Cole. He also serves on the board of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Sundance Institute. Mr. Cole has received numerous awards for his innovative, socially conscious advertising and overall social outreach, including the 1997 Council of Fashion Designers of America Dom Pérignon Award for Humanitarian Leadership, the 1997 Creative Coalition Spotlight Award, and the 1998 Media Spotlight Award from Amnesty International. Mr. Cole also received amfAR’s Award of Courage in November 2000, at the Foundation’s annual Seasons of Hope fundraiser in observance of World AIDS Day.

There is certainly truth to the old cliché, “you can do well by doing good.” For Mr. Cole, “doing good” has meant being on the front line of fashion trends and AIDS awareness. As a renowned American designer and humanitarian and the chairman of the board of Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc., Mr. Cole believes that “it is great to be known for your shoes. It is even better to be recognized for your soul.”

Mr. Cole and his wife, Maria, have three daughters and live in Westchester, New York.

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Kenneth Cole to Sundance Volunteers: I've Got Your Back

Kenneth Cole to Sundance Volunteers: I’ve Got Your Back

January 18, 2016 with

Kenneth Cole Foundation teams up with Sundance Institute to create dance video highlighting importance of Sundance Film Festival volunteers

Kenneth Cole Knows The Importance of Giving Back

Kenneth Cole Knows The Importance of Giving Back

November 17, 2015 with

Kenneth Cole and his daughter Amanda Cole talk about the importance of being socially conscious.

Kenneth Cole: 'Battle of amfAR' Will Inspire AIDS Battle (VIDEO)

Kenneth Cole: ‘Battle of amfAR’ Will Inspire AIDS Battle (VIDEO)

June 12, 2013 with

Fashion designer promotes film that depicts founding of AIDS research group by Elizabeth Taylor, Dr. Mathilde Krim

SJP, Kenneth Cole Join Fashion Forces for amfAR

SJP, Kenneth Cole Join Fashion Forces for amfAR

February 5, 2013 with

Actress collaborated with fashion designer on limited-edition clutch to raise money, awareness for AIDS research

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