Kiehl’s Since 1851, skincare brand and purveyor of many of my must have beauty and skincare items, showed their true colors Thursday evening when they kicked off Pride weekend with THE Cyndi Lauper.
While I’ve always known the brand to support environmental causes, I had no idea that they were 100% behind the LGBT community. As an official sponsor NYC Pride, they have a rich history of support dating back to 1996 when Kiehl’s made HIV/AIDS a key philanthropy for the brand, partnering with Magic Johnson to raise funds and awareness for the Magic Johnson AIDS Foundation. Since 2001, Kiehl’s has raised over $2,000,000 for HIV/AIDS organizations and continues to do so.
I got to speak to Salgardo on why this is important and how he’s prepping as Grand Marshall of the parade (HUGE honor!)
MissWYA: Can you tell me a little bit about on how Kiehl’s got involved in the Pride parade?Salgardo: Kiehl’s, as a company that’s been around for 161 years, we’ve been supporting different charitable causes probably for the past 36 years. And also in our mission statement, we believe that we should be giving back to the community in which we operate. So for us, especially with Pride, the gay community has always been so open and so incredibly supportive of us for so many years and because we’re a company that really believes in diversity and inclusion we felt that it was really important that we go back and support whatever initiatives that we could. I’m really proud to say that for the past 10 years we’ve been marching in gay Pride. We’ve actually been a sponsor of gay pride for the past four [sic] years. This marks our 10th year anniversary and I’m actually Grand Marshall.
MissWYA: What’s it like to be Grand Marshall? Are you excited?
Salgardo: I’m so excited because for me, individually, it’s been a real time for reflection as a gay man, and what that means in this country and to have incredibly supportive family, friends, network and to work for a company that believes, again, in diversity and inclusion because I couldn’t work anywhere that didn’t have those important values. Kiehl’s has been about that forever. You see it in our staff, you see it in the people who work in our office. It’s always a very international flair and I love all of these different people coming together to make things better.
MissWYA: How are you prepping for Grand Marshall? Sounds like a lot of fun!?
Salgardo: Okay so I have an appointment at the Kiehl’s spa tomorrow [Saturday 6/23] for my facial and massage and beard trim – the whole nine yards. We have the spa on 64th and Lexington [in New York City] — first one in the world. So I’ll be doing that.
I also had the chance to quickly chat with Cyndi Lauper (I know, dying!) on how she started the fund and why this celebration with Kiehl’s means so much to her.
Lauper: They [Kiehls Since 1851] have always been so supportive of the LGBT community . We’re trying to launch a 40 to None campaign which will focus on helping the homeless LGBT youth – gay transgendered kids – that have been either thrown out of their home simply because they are gay or runaway out of fear of rejection or whatever. I think it’s important to us in the fund to be outspoken about this, especially this weekend. Kiehl’s has been generous enough to support us and they’re a wonderful company. They’ve been around for over 100 years, so it’s nice to have that kind of real Americana company supporting civil rights and helping kids who are on the streets simply because they’re gay or transgendered.
On the homelessness, Lauper says some kids are as young as 12 years old, “We gotta step up. We gotta step up, we’re grown ups and kids are our future.” You can learn more about her True Colors Fund here.
Watch as Salgardo presents the $5,000 donation to Cyndi Lauper:
Happy Pride 2012!
Please don’t forget that you can still help the people of Haiti, donate to the Red Cross today. Thank you.