Back in Haiti

Kenneth’s notes on our 8-year love haiti relationship.
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People often ask me “Why Haiti?” The answer is simply that New York city is embedded in my brand and in many ways I see the same urban resilience in Haiti. As New Yorkers we witnessed the catastrophic earthquake nine years ago, in a country that has endured one unfortunate circumstance after another. From HIV, to severe poverty to a series of natural disasters, Hatians have managed to persevere again and again. I see Haiti as an embodiment of the ability to over-come again and again. Our work with communities there is symbolic of our commitment to people who have lived through severe natural disasters and still find positivity and hope. Truthfully, we can see that same resilience in every city, on any day of the week. Though we can’t always be everywhere, we have chosen to do work in a sphere that on some level everyone can relate to.

Over that last 8 years I’ve built both physical structures which aid underserved communities, and relationships that continue to strengthen the bond between my brand and the country. This month me and my team spent three days reflecting, reconnecting and rejoicing with communities in Haiti. We offer you the chance to support this community as well by getting our “We’re in a LOVE- HAITI relationship” t-shirt from The Voice Shop. All proceeds go to the St. Luke’s Foundation for Haiti, so this is another great opportunity to LOOK GOOD, FOR GOOD.

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Attending A mass remembrance for the 2010 earthquake held at Titanyen, honoring the lives lost, while celebrating the progress that has been made since.

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A visit to the Kenneth Cole Haiti Health Center in Cité Soleil (#KCHHC) which provides basic healthcare for one of the most underserved areas in the Western Hemisphere. Since 2012 we’ve added solar panels that allow for consistent electricity, purchased medicine and funded staff, and acquired an advanced digital x-ray machine. This year we expanded pediatric care and purchased a speedboat to provide transport for any of the 50,000 people who need to travel from the neighboring island of La Gonace to the clinic. Me and my team spent the afternoon outdoors planting shrubs and trees we donated in the patient courtyard.

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Our team joined @REBUILDglobally to celebrate the opening of the new Deux Mains solar-powered facilities. Deux Mains is a grassroots social enterprise that uses upcycled tires and locally sourced leathers to make one-of-a-kind sandals. In collaboration with their artisans, we’ve designed a number of one of a kind sandals as well as accessories over the years and we hope to launch another collaboration with them soon.

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As with every trip into Haiti, I left inspired by the tremendous progress made 9 years after the devastating earthquake. I am always humbled to be able to visit this country with KCP associates & support the ongoing effort towards change and growth. It is always great to have the opportunity to LOOK GOOD, FOR GOOD.