The week before last, I headed over to Kenneth Cole's HQ to attend, Conversations with Kenneth Cole in terms of looking at his activisim with his fight against AIDS, his campaigns on this subject and how he engaged this platform within the culture of his company. I had been to this location before as I had enjoyed a fabulous dinner with him and his creative team a few years ago to present the Spring 11 collection. This event was presented by amfAR's generation CURE and The Luxury Marketing Council with a moderated Q&A by Senior Editor of WWD, David Lipke. Kenneth took us on a journey of how he started bringing awareness to HIV/AIDS in the 80's when the subject was not one that was talked about as well as having connotations to the disease. His ability to continue focusing on this subject began rallying those to come together by raising money, bringing celebs together. At that time in the early stages, there were 17 organizations that were involved in this fight. Juxtapose this number with a much increased awareness and research focus. In addition, it seems that in our lifetimes, there will be cures for this disease. There is definitely hope with just days after this event, that it was announced that a a toddler born in Mississippi with HIV was functionally cured!
In addition to this event being about honoring the work that Kenneth Cole has done personally and through his company, it was a great way to see portions of his collection (a number of them were posted on my Instagram account) as well as to mingle with a number of members from The Luxury Marketing Council. Anytime someone uses their success and resources for the global good, this is definitely something worth noting and celebrating. Take some time to check out his iconic ads via The Kenneth Cole Advertising Archive as they will have a permanent home on his site where you can see ads that focus on campaigns and the issues that have come across his path in the nearly 30 years he has been in business!