By now, anyone who follows fashion know that Kenneth Cole has been one of the most outspoken--and unlikely--of role-models in the fight against AIDS. In the mid-eighties Cole not only gave voice to the epidemic, he used his company as a platform to spread his beliefs on a national scale. While gay men attempted to politely and quietly navigate their way through echelons of social suppression--the press, the health system, the government--Cole used his clout as a business owner and fashion plate to dedicated to bring light to a pandemic that was so thoroughly affecting the fashion industry.
While his advocacy started nearly thirty years ago, Cole remains active in his quest to raise both funds and consciousness. His latest endeavor finds amfAR (where Cole serves as Chariman) partnering with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation to re-imagine the iconic AIDS ribbon in recognition of the virus's discovery 30-years ago. Cole has doubled up the ribbon in his new interpretation, in hopes of reignating the fight for a cure, and is selling it for $5, with 100% of net profits being donated to his foundation AWEARNESS . The new A celebrity-studded PSA titled "Come Together"--featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, Cyndi Lauper, Estelle, SkylarGrey, Cheyenne Jackson, Rose McGowan, and Ke$ha--will also debut through the end of the year.