Veteran AIDS Activist Kenneth Cole Uses Fashion Week to Raise Funds and Awareness

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Veteran AIDS Activist Kenneth Cole Uses Fashion Week to Raise Funds and Awareness

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Activist @KennethCole uses Fashion Week to raise funds and awareness for #AIDS research @justmeans @Harry_Stevens

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Kenneth Cole on the red carpet of Life Ball, Europe's biggest charity event supporting people with HIV/AIDS, in 2010.

Friday, February 15, 2013 - 11:00am



Fashion designer Kenneth Cole will use the publicity generated by Fashion Week to raise funds and awareness about AIDS research. To raise money, Cole will donate proceeds from a pair of new products to the American Foundation for AIDS Research, known by its acronym amfAR.

To help craft the first product, a limited edition handbag that will premiere on Feb. 7 at Cole's eponymous fashion show, the designer turned to former Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker.

"It's been an amazing experience to collaborate with Kenneth Cole on the design of a handbag supporting amfAR," said Parker.

The bag, which includes a condom inside and features the inscription "We're All Potential Carriers," will retail for $1,000. Twenty bags will be sold at the show with 100 percent of proceeds donated to amfAR. The bags will also be auctioned off at the amfAR gala.

"Kenneth has used his platform as a fashion designer for nearly 30 years to advocate for amfAR's mission to end AIDS," added Parker. "I'm thrilled this bag will help raise money and awareness for the 30 million people living with HIV and AIDS."

There are in fact an estimated 34 million people, of whom 3.4 million are children, living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, according to statistics published by UNAIDS, WHO and UNICEF in November 2011. In 2010, new cases of HIV/AIDS infections amounted to 2.7 million people and 390,000 children. While the overall growth of the epidemic has stabilized in recent years, an estimated 16.6 million children were orphaned due to deaths from HIV/AIDS in 2009 alone.

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Harry Stevens is a freelance reporter covering climate change, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise, and sustainable finance. Harry has contributed to several media outlets, including Justmeans, GreenBiz, SocialEarth, and Sustainablog. You can follow Harry on Twitter: @Harry_Stevens