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Kenneth Cole’s Charitable Return to the Runway

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After a seven-year hiatus, Fall ’13 marks Kenneth Cole’s much-anticipated return to the runway. And he’s using his NYFW presence to do some good. This season, the February 6 amfAR (Foundation for AIDS Research) gala will serve as fashion week’s official kickoff. And Cole, who has been an AIDS activist for twenty-seven years and currently serves as the charity’s chairman, has teamed up with Sarah Jessica Parker to create twenty limited-edition amfAR clutches. “It’s the ultimate women’s evening bag,” explains Cole, noting that SJP has become a friend and collaborator in regards to the amfAR initiative. The black snakeskin clutch is big enough to carry “everything you need, but no more,” and includes a wallet designed to hold a mirror, credit cards, your mobile, and, of course, a condom. “It suggests the importance of looking good and, at the same time, being safe,” says Cole of the bag, which will feature inscriptions of Parker’s name and the phrase “We’re all potential carriers” on its gunmetal frame. One bag will be auctioned off at the amfAR gala, along with a special SJP experience. (The exact nature of that experience is still TBD, but Cole hints it could be dinner.)

A version of the $1,000 bag (all of the proceeds from which will go to amfAR) will also feature in, and be sold live during, the designer’s February 7 runway show, which will be broadcast across various social-media platforms. As for his return to the runway, Cole says “I’m excited to be doing it in a way that offers people a unique experience. You can be in the front row wherever you are, and, hopefully, enthusiastically be a part of it.” But Cole also asks for his fans’ help—every time an @KennethCole follower tweets with #KCRunway, the designer will donate $1 to amfAR.

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