amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Kenneth Cole


Kenneth Cole - amfAR Chairman

Joined the amfAR board in July 1987. Was elected vice chairman in April 2002, and chairman of the board in January 2005. 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 and outdoor campaign featured key entertainment, political, social, and scientific leaders in an effort to foster needed solidarity and bring light to the devastating stigma surrounding 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 $1.5 billion. 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 boards 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.

Chairman, Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. He and his wife, Maria Cuomo Cole, have three daughters and live in Westchester, NY.

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