amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Kenneth Cole


Kenneth Cole - amfAR Chairman

Kenneth Cole joined amfAR’s board of directors in July 1987.  He was elected Vice Chairman in April 2002, and Chairman of the board in January 2005.  He chairs the Executive Committee and serves ex-officio on all board committees.  Designs and donates most of amfAR’s annual creative advertising, including the outdoor campaign, which first appeared in 1996.  Kenneth has initiated public awareness efforts annually since 1985 when he spearheaded the campaign: “For the Future of Our Children” photographed by Annie Leibovitz.  In 2005 he created and launched the “We All Have AIDS”  public service campaign.  The print & outdoor campaign featured key entertainment, political, social and scientific leaders in an effort to foster needed solidarity and bring light to the devastating stigma of those living with HIV/AIDS.

Mr. Cole is Chairman of Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. a business that began over 25 years ago out of the back of a 40 foot trailer.  Kenneth Cole Productions is one of the most widely revered and consistently focused fashion houses, with retail sales in excess of one and a half billion dollars.  Mr. Cole goes far beyond lending his name to a line of clothing and accessories; he is the ultimate driving force and creative director in all areas from design to marketing.

In 2008, Mr. Cole launched AWEARNESS, The Kenneth Cole Foundation to promote, encourage, and inspire meaningful social change and support like-minded individuals and organizations to make a difference.

In addition to his commitment to amfAR and the fight against AIDS, Mr. Cole sits on the board of the Sundance Institute, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and HELP USA the nation’s largest provider of homes, jobs and services for the homeless.  Mr. Cole has received numerous awards for his innovative, socially conscious advertising and overall social outreach including amfAR’s Award of Courage. 

Kenneth resides in Westchester, New York with his wife, Maria Cuomo Cole and their three daughters.

For a downloadable version of this bio in PDF format, click here.