Life Ball: Designers Joining Together in the Fight Against AIDS

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Diane von Furstenberg, Kenneth Cole, and Calvin Klein Collection’s Francisco Costa to Present the Life Ball 2010 Fashion Show

Life Ball 2010 will be held in Vienna, Austria, on Saturday, July 17th for an audience expected to exceed 40,000 people at Vienna City Hall Square, as well as thousands of people around the world. The fashion show, which will be held at the impressive and historic Vienna City Hall, will serve as the elegant opening for this year’s much anticipated Life Ball 2010, and the XVIII International AIDS Conference, which begins the following day in Vienna.

This annual fashion spectacle celebrates one of the largest annual AIDS charity events worldwide and this year’s event will feature runway shows from renowned and globally recognized American designers Diane von Furstenberg, Kenneth Cole, and Calvin Klein Collection’s Francisco Costa.

As pioneers in the fight against HIV and AIDS, these three award-winning designers will come together for the very first time for this important cause and each will personally attend Life Ball 2010. As in past years, international top models will be featured on the catwalk and the red carpet will again stretch across the City Hall Square and provide a dramatic backdrop for this important event, to promote awareness and solidarity in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

“As close friends of the AIDS community, who each personally understand the need to raise funds and awareness for AIDS, these three highly respected, prestigious American designers will bring a strong and vital statement to this year’s Red Ribbon Stage,” says Gery Keszler, Organizer of Life Ball and Chairman of AIDS LIFE. “We must continue to act and remind people around the world that HIV affects everyone, everywhere.”

Kenneth Cole was one of the first members of the global fashion community to take a public stand in the fight against AIDS. Since then, he has continued to support the cause globally through both personal and corporate initiatives, including his company’s on-going public awareness campaigns and through his work as the Chairman of amfAR: The Foundation for AIDS Research. “I believe we all have a responsibility to do what we can for important and worthwhile social initiatives. I am honored to be able to partner with the Life Ball in one of the biggest high-profile charity events that focuses attention on the global issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. I am excited to unite with other American designers and for fashion to be used as a platform that inspires people to get involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS.” says Cole.

Diane von Furstenberg has been a longtime supporter of AIDS-related charities. Through DVF and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, Diane has supported organizations such as ACRIA, AMFAR, DIFFA, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS foundation, and Friends in Deed. As president of the CFDA, she has worked with the fashion community to establish the CFDA-Vogue Initiative/New York City AIDS Fund to respond to the needs of community-based agencies serving persons with HIV/AIDS in New York City and to support national AIDS advocacy efforts.

Francisco Costa, the Women’s Creative Director of Calvin Klein Collection, currently serves on the board of the New York-based AIDS charity, AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA), and is a past contributor to Designers Against AIDS (DAA), which works to raise funds and awareness about AIDS/HIV and prevention around the world.

About Life Ball
Life Ball, which is organized by AIDS LIFE, an association founded in 1992, has grown into a top society event and annual global fund raiser to support various AIDS charity organizations and promote increased public sensitivity and a greater understanding about those affected by the disease and prevention. The net proceeds of Life Ball are equally dedicated to projects in Austria and to initiatives in some of the most affected countries in the world. This international support is granted through amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, the Clinton Foundation, and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

About Kenneth Cole
There is certainly truth to the old cliché, “You can do well by doing good.” For Kenneth Cole “doing good” has meant being on the frontline of fashion trends and AIDS awareness. As a renowned Ameri-can designer and humanitarian, Kenneth Cole believes that “It is great to be known for your shoes. It is even better to be recognized for your soul.” A business that began over 25 years ago out of the back of a 40-foot trailer, Kenneth Cole Productions has risen to the top of American fashion at lightning speed and set the standards for others to meet. With nearly 90 Kenneth Cole domestic retail stores, 65 internationally, and Kenneth Cole has been able to unite his fashion instincts and business acumen with his philanthropic convictions. As Chairman to The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), and a founding board member to the homeless organization HELP USA, Kenneth Cole has made it his business to fuse fashion with social action. Sometimes politically ironic and irreverent but always socially conscious and relevant – Kenneth Cole’s advertising has touched on everything from gun control and cloning to abortion and AIDS. He believes that, “To be aware is more important than what you wear.” Many people recognize the famous, “Regardless of the right to bear arms, we in no way condone the right to bare feet” while others celebrate the timely, “Not voting is so last season.” Whatever the slogan and whatever the issue, Kenneth Cole continues to abide by two mantras: “What we stand for is more important that what we stand in” and “We may not heel the world, but we hope to be an accessory.”

About Diane von Furstenberg
Diane von Furstenberg first arrived in the fashion world in 1972 with her iconic wrap dress, the seed of what is today a full fashion house. By 1976, Diane had sold millions of her dresses, coming to symbolize female power and freedom to an entire generation. In 1997, after a hiatus from fashion, Diane reemerged on the New York fashion scene with the re-launch of the dress that had started it all and began building her company into a global luxury lifestyle brand. Today, the Diane von Furstenberg collection includes ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, accessories, eyewear, swim, DVF by H. Stern fine jewelry and watches, rugs and luggage. The collection is sold in 71 countries worldwide and in 34 namesake boutiques. In 2005, Diane was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for her impact on fashion, and one year later, was elected the CFDA¹s new president, an office she continues to hold. A firm believer in the infinite power of women, Diane sits on the board of Vital Voices, a women¹s leadership organization that empowers emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the world. In 2010, she established The DVF Awards with The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation. The annual event honors women who have shown the courage to fight, the power to survive, and the leadership to inspire. As a longtime resident of New York¹s Meatpacking District, Diane is a vocal member of the local community. She was actively involved in the campaign to save the historical High Line railway and remains committed to supporting the development of the newly-opened public park.

About Francisco Costa
Calvin Klein Collection is the most prestigious and refined brand within the Calvin Klein portfolio, setting the tone of elegance and luxurious simplicity for the company's other brands. The women’s Calvin Klein Collection is designed by the brands’ award winning Women’s Creative Director, Francisco Costa, who is known for his architectural silhouettes. Under Costa’s direction, the line continues to evolve and modernize American sportswear concepts, employing innovative fabrics and techniques to create pieces with a modern sophistication.

Calvin Klein, Inc. is one of the leading fashion design and marketing studios in the world. It designs and markets women’s and men’s designer collection apparel and a range of other products that are manufactured and marketed through an extensive network of licensing agreements and other arrangements worldwide. Brands/lifestyles include Calvin Klein Collection, ck Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, and Calvin Klein Underwear. Product lines under the various Calvin Klein brands include apparel, accessories, shoes, sleepwear, hosiery, socks, swimwear, belts, eyewear, watches, jewellery, coats, suits, fragrances, and cosmetics, as well as products for the home.


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Doris Pommerening
Life Ball Press Office
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