American fashion designer and social activist, Kenneth Cole, has partnered with Broadway’s musical comedy, The Prom, to support the rights of LGBTQI+ people. The partnership includes a fundraising initiative for the UN Foundation in support of UN Free & Equal – a global public information campaign of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to promote the fair and equal rights of LGBTQI+ people globally.
In its latest experiential entertainment campaign, entertainment advertising company AKA NYC got fashion icon Cole to team up with The Prom (which recently made history by featuring the first televised same-sex kiss during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade), to create a new kind of theater-going experience.
Inspired by the musical’s message of love an acceptance, Cole designed a custom sneaker for the show’s finale, as well as a t-shirt featuring the show’s signature tagline, demonstrating a new kind of product placement with a purpose – one that doesn’t get in the way of the audience experience. Proceeds from the shirts will be donated to the UN Foundation in support of UN Free & Equal, which helps raise awareness of LGBTQI+ rights and promote equality.
“We have been supporting social justice and equal rights issues since its inception and specifically for the LGBTQI+ community for over 25 years,” stated Cole, chairman and chief creative officer of Kenneth Cole Productions. “We’re proud to partner with The Prom, not just because it is an extraordinary theatrical production, but also because of the shared values it portrays and the important story of inclusion and acceptance that it brings to life. “
Inspired by the Act 1 Finale of The Prom, the custom t-shirt reads, “Today is not a dress rehearsal.” As an official part of the musical’s merchandise line, the t-shirt is sold at the Longacre Theatre in New York and online at theprommusicalshop.com, and at The Voice Shop.
Also available on The Prom’s official e-merch site are Kenneth Cole’s Pride Kam Sneakers, which are featured onstage at the finale of The Prom and include a rainbow stripe detail so anyone anywhere can be 'Tied with Pride.' Leading Lady Caitlin Kinnunen (Emma) dons Kenneth Cole’s Swarovski Crystal Kam Sneaker and Isabelle McCalla (Alyssa Greene) wears the Silver Glitter Kam Sneaker, both of which have the rainbow stripe (the signature element of the Pride Kam sneaker) added to them.
“The Prom helps us understand that in every community around the world the protection of human rights is a living issue. Bringing together artists, civic activists, corporate partners, diplomats and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will help audiences not only understand that over the last 70 years the UN has helped build a global framework for human rights, but also that we all need to stand up to ensure everyone, everywhere is free and equal,” said United Nations Foundation chief communications officer Rajesh Mirchandani.