Kenneth Cole for the Human Rights Campaign 2013

Kenneth Cole HRC T shirt CollaborationKenneth Cole has a message for you—”Equality…Get Married to the Idea.” It’s a message splayed across summery heather-red T-shirts that Kenneth Cole has made in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as the fifth in their ongoing collaboration of  limited edition t-shirts that encourage people to voice their support marriage equality. The shirt is only available during the month of June, which some know better as “Gay Pride Month” and 100% of the net profits from each sale get donated to AWEARNESS, the Kenneth Cole Foundation in support of the HRC.

A quick refresher on the, uh, heterosexually married Mr. Cole’s support for the gay community reads like an Oscar award winning movie. The man was one of the first people anywhere to vocally support the gay community back in the 1980’s when the HIV crisis initially struck. Since 1985, Kenneth Cole has served as a Board Member of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmfAR). Long before it was cool…or safe to speak out for gay rights, Kenneth Cole used his advertising to raise awareness about how HIV was spread. The first ad ran in 1986, and featured all the top models of the day (barefoot) posed with children and the copy read: “For the future of our children… support AIDS research.” At the time it was shocking for anyone to publicly speak out about AIDS or gay issues. People back then were so scared by the virus that some though it could be transmitted just by touching someone who had it. A ballsy move for a man whose business depended on clothing, but his determination was infective and led to greater discussion in the media about the AIDS crisis and gay issues in general. The AWEARNESS campaign continues and Kenneth Cole is still one of the most potent voices in the search for a cure.

These days though, he’s also on the forefront of the fight for marriage equality. With the fight almost ready for  a big Supreme Court decision (though not quite yet), the this year’s Ts are especially relevant. Who knows…next year the whole same-sex marriage fight could look a whole lot different.


The shirts will be sold throughout the month of June at select Kenneth Cole retail stores, on kennethcole.comshop.hrc.org, and HRC stores in Provincetown, MA; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, D.C.  Signage appears at all 99 of the Kenneth Cole retail and outlet stores nationwide for PRIDE throughout the month of June.   

Additionally, Kenneth Cole will hold in-store events on June 27th in New York City and San Francisco with local screen printers on sight to print customers favorite Kenneth Cole and HRC graphic collaboration. 


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