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Kenneth Cole Collaborates with Haitian Artisans for a Line of Sandals

Kenneth Cole unveiled a limited-edition sandal in collaboration with Haitian artisans to commemorate the five-year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. The designer teamed up with Deux Mains, a community-based enterprise in Port-au-Prince that uses recycled tires to manufacture sandals. The organization provides both sustainable incomes for its shoemakers and an environmentally conscious alternative to tire burning.

Cole’s “The Love-Haiti Sandals” collection includes a men’s slide ($79) available in brown, blue and tan, and a women’s thong sandal ($69) in red, blue and tan. Each pair comes in a stylish burlap tote with the phrase “We are in a Love-Haiti relationship” and can be purchased at KennethCole.com and in select Kenneth Cole stores.

Deux Mains Designs CEO Julie Colombino said, “I am delighted that a worldwide icon like Kenneth Cole shares our vision and is partnering with Deux Mains to support job creation in our Haitian workshop.”

The collaboration with Deux Mains marks a new opportunity for Kenneth Cole to use his design power to support Haiti. Shortly after the 2010 earthquake, Cole launched an in-store shoe drive and shipped thousands of pairs to Haitians in need. Cole also built The Kenneth Cole Haiti Health Center (The KCHHC) at St. Mary’s Hospital in Cite Soleil. The center is part of a tri-level collaborative medical system accessible to over 1.5 million people.

Most recently, Cole opened a boutique in Haiti at the Kinam Hotel in Petitionville, which has a history of collaborating with local artisans and contributes proceeds to the KCHHC. Cole said, “Although the press and cameras are gone, the needs of the community are not.”