Kenneth Cole & Instagram’s ‘Dude With Sign’ Want Your Attention

Kenneth Cole and @dudewithasign has teamed up for Mental Health Awareness Month.

CREDIT: HARVEY JACKSON

Kenneth Cole is continuing on his mission to end the stigma around mental health. As part of the brand’s 40th anniversary and in line with Mental Health Awareness month, the company has teamed up with @Dudewithsign on a special collaboration.

Seth Phillips started the now-viral @dudewithsign Instagram account in 2019 where he is seen holding humorous and culturally relevant signs on the streets of New York. He then caught Cole’s eye during the pandemic after he was seen holding up a piece of cardboard that read, “Saying ‘Calm Down’ Doesn’t Work.”

With that, the two came together to create a capsule collection that has 100% of net proceeds from the sale of the items donated to The Mental Health Coalition. In addition, a $25,000 donation to the Mental Health Coalition on behalf of FJerry, the company behind @dudewithsign & @fuckjerry, will also be made as part of this collaboration. The Coalition will be using the funds towards an important initiative around social media and its impact on mental health.

The unisex collection features a crewneck sweatshirt and tee with the phrase “Saying ‘Calm Down’ Doesn’t Work” in Phillip’s signature handwriting style.

“This campaign was so cool, I was very grateful to play a part. I want to say thank you to the wonderful team at Kenneth Cole for allowing me to use their platform as well as mine to emphasize something as real and universal as mental health,” Phillips said.

The tees retail for $48 and the crewneck sweater is available $125, exclusively on Kennethcole.com.

In 2019, Cole helped to found The Mental Health Coalition, a large-scale effort aimed at bringing together influential nonprofits, businesses, brands, celebrities and influencers in a coordinated effort to destigmatize mental health conditions. Since then, the company has prioritized wellness outside the business, as well as internally. In March, Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. said it is transitioning its PTO policy to offer unlimited vacation to all full-time employees, for instance.

In its memo to employees, KCP wrote, “One of our core values as a company is to prioritize wellness in all aspects of who we are, what we do, and what we stand for (and stand in). As part of that mission, we think it is essential that everyone has the freedom and flexibility to get their work done while also being able to take the time they need to maintain balance and to be able to take care of themselves and each other.”

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