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Kenneth Cole Pranked After His Off-Color Cairo Tweet

Check out the creative rogue response to Kenneth Cole's tone-deaf Cairo tweet. But is it real?

In response to the infamously tone-deaf tweet from Kenneth Cole, some rogue designers (or maybe photoshoppers) have taken to the street in opposition to snarky brand opportunism. Apparently someone pasted a decal of the tweet in question on the front window of a Kenneth Cole store in San Fransisco for all potential square-toed shoe shoppers to see.

Looks pretty real doesn't it?

To catch you up: We ignored the lapse of judgment when it first happened. Kenneth Cole, apparently the person not just the brand, tweeted: "Millions in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new collection is now available online at ..." Then the link, which needs not repeating, and the initials -KC. CNN reports that when the 'KC' is used, it means the man himself actually pecked the tweet, apparently via Blackberry this time.

He followed it up with a curt tweet-pology, then a "full" mea culpa on Facebook.

"I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate."

It should be noted that Kenneth Cole, the company, has been pretty outspoken for progressive causes in their media in the past, raising awareness on global warming and supporting same-sex marriage. So, the #Cairo tweet's insensitive opportunism isn't standard operating procedure.

Back to the important question: Is the decal real? SFist called the store in question on Market Street and received this response: "'There is no story,' the saleswoman (curtly) informed us. 'Yeah, there is no story.' Click."

Hard to say if it's a talented vigilante decal deployment or just timely outrage-fueled photoshopping in solidarity with the earnest Egyptian uprising (anyone in SF want to confirm or deny this?). Other versions of this photo have been popping up on Flickr that sure look real from multiple vantage points.

Either way, it's clever work! May future failures of social media judgment be met with equal original alacrity. But next time, please delete the promotional link from the prank. It's already gotten more than 17,000 hits according to

Via Coilhouse and Boing Boing.

Image: (cc) via Flickr user Milkest.

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