Yesterday, I attended the Conversations with Kenneth Cole/ amfAR event at the Kenneth Cole headquarters and showroom. This event was part networking, part tribute to Kenneth Cole‘s years of commitment and service to bringing awareness to HIV/AIDS, and a Q&A sessions moderated by David Lipke, Senior Editor for WWD (Women’s Wear Daily).
During the Q&A session, we listened to Mr. Cole speak about how he used his platform to bring awareness to a cause that was not necessarily a popular one to support 25 years ago. Back in the 80’s people associated HIV/AIDS with being homosexual or being of Haitian decent. People didn’t understand or accept why a single, white male would want to champion for a cause/ disease that was seen as “taboo”. Kenneth Cole had the foresight to know that through awareness comes prevention. He used his time, money, and brand to get other celebrities involved and raise money for a cure. Mr. Cole stated that when he first started, there were only 17 organizations dedicated to HIV/AIDS research. Fast forward to now, that number has ballooned… but Kenneth Cole stressed that the fight must continue on until a cure is found.
Towards the end, Kenneth Cole spoke about his experiences working along side celebrities who also championed for this cause such as Elizabeth Taylor, Sharon Stone, Elton John, and countless others. Mr. Cole spoke candidly about his final conversation with Elizabeth Taylor and how through her illness she was still determined to make personal appearances to support HIV/AIDS funding. I honestly enjoyed this event; and must give a special thank you to Heather-Sky McField for inviting me out. This event provided the opportunity to get insight from one of the pioneers of the HIV/AIDS awareness movement. He tackled a subject that was not a popular one to address, and went against the grain. Kenneth Cole made it fashionable to remove one’s head from the sand, an for that I appreciate him.
In addition to the event, we got to view Kenneth Cole‘s Fall/ Winter 2013 collection straight from the runway’s of New York Fashion Week which occurred 3 weeks ago. I am glad Team Kenneth Cole moved the Q&A session separate from the showroom… I would have been distracted by all of the clothing with their colorful textures, mixtures of metals and intense hues, and metallic sweaters!!!! *sighs* This was way better than attending the show itself. Below are the pictures… please leave comments and tell me what you think. My favorite moment was getting the opportunity to meet and take pictures with Kenneth and David. Side Note: You may recognize David Lipke from his appearance on The Face, episode 2.
Kenneth Cole Fall/ Winter 2013