Syria-sly, Kenneth Cole?

There are a LOT of people I’d like to kick off Twitter. Annoying constantly-tweeting acquaintances, celebrities who make me want to face-palm on a daily basis, Anthony Weiner, and the entire population of Beliebers usually top my list. Brands and designers touting their products usually pass under my rage radar (especially since they often let me know about sales, and I love sales). But we have seriously got to do something about Kenneth Cole, guys.

“What did Kenneth do this time?” some of you who remember his earlier gaffes might ask with an exasperation that I can empathize with. For those of you who missed his earlier scandalous tweets, let’s recap Kenneth Cole’s Twitter career highlights.

Okay. I get that we don’t really have a rule against using current events to promote your new line of shoes, but it seems like that one would probably at least draw some hesitation from the PR team. But nope. It seems gun control doesn’t pass the threshold of being too sensitive to make light of for profit. What about political conflict costing significant lives in the Middle East?

Kenneth Cole took it to the next level by using the very real and serious struggle of millions during the Egyptian conflicts to announce his new spring collection. Wait, really? Yes. Really. And did he learn his lesson from this? This just in: absolutely not.

With lives and national identity hanging in the balance, Kenneth Cole has once again proved to be abhorrently insensitive with a Syria-themed tweet about his footwear.

Naturally, the Twittersphere has revolted against Kenneth Cole and he has gotten almost as many angry tweets as a celebrity who makes fun of Justin Bieber’s hair. Despite this, he is holding strong defending his tweet and even going as far as to say he uses his social media presence to increase dialogue on important issues. Even if that was his intent, by this stage in his offensive tweet career he should probably have noticed that these types of tweets make it look like he just wants to sell shoes and the only thing they increase dialogue on is how he is probably a horrible person.

Sadly enough, the backlash against the tweet is probably proving true the age-old mantra that there’s no such thing about bad publicity. Many who wouldn’t even have the brand on their radar are talking about, tweeting about, and unintentionally promoting Kenneth Cole. Do the world a favor and don’t be a part of this. Send your angry tweet, be horrified, and for the love of America, don’t buy his shoes. They’re not even cute.

About the Author: Sam Herzing enjoys commenting on social media, politics, and the many faux pas that occur when the two collide. She is a contributing blogger for many technology blogs, including