Kenneth Cole on the Fear and Silence of AIDS: Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis


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Kenneth Cole joined Fern Mallis on the 92Y stage as part of our Fashion Icons series. Known as much for his social activism and support for AIDS research as for his shoes and clothes, the designer screened The Battle of amfAR, a documentary he produced about the early days of the fight against AIDS. Onstage with Fern, he remembered that the disease reduced people to fear and silence – it just wasn’t talked about in the beginning because the stigma attached to it was so profound. And that stigma extended to anyone who talked about the disease. “I was a single, male designer,” Cole joked, “so I just knew everybody would assume I was… Haitian.”

Buy the book! FASHION LIVES: Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis features nineteen inspiring, no-holds-barred interviews with American fashion icons including Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Betsey Johnson, Polly Mellen, Bruce Weber, and Oscar de la Renta at 92Y.