Kiehl’s Mixes Fashion, Philanthropy, Motorcycles in Desert

If you were playing a word association game, you’d be hard pressed to find the link between skincare and motorcycles—unless you’re in the Kiehl’s flagship store in New York City. The store features a collection of bikes begun by Aaron Morse, the company’s second-generation family owner and former fighter pilot/motorcycle enthusiast.

The company’s heritage with motorcycles also coincides with a dedication to philanthropy. “Kiehl’s is committed to giving back to our communities, and HIV/AIDS awareness has been a pillar cause for us for the past 20 years,” says Chris Salgardo, Kiehl’s USA president. The skincare giant married their two pastimes to create the LifeRide for the American Foundation for AIDS Research, which held marathon motorcycle rides on both coasts to raise money for AIDS research in 2010.

To expand their reach and raise awareness the company created another ride, the Desert Run for amfAR, which sees motorcycle riders, including Salgardo, ply the highways between Las Vegas and Los Angeles to raise $25,000 for AIDS research.

“We created the Desert Run for amfAR, a more abbreviated ride during which we’ll hit a few of the stops we were unable to visit on our first ride,” Salgardo says. The five-day journey kicks off Thursday at the Kiehl’s store in the Forum Shops at Caesars with a party from 3-5 p.m. featuring music by DJ Axis and refreshments from Sushi Roku and Vosges Haut-chocolat.

Upping the cachet of the event is the unveiling of a custom Kiehl’s Chopper designed by motorcycle builder Paul Cox. The custom bike will be ridden through the duration of the Desert Run, which makes stops at Kiehl’s stores in Palm Springs and L.A. before culminating in Santa Monica. After the ride the chopper will take its place in the New York store on display alongside Kiehl’s motorcycle collection.

To get customers involved the company created a Limited Edition Desert Run Travel Essentials Kit for sale at Kiehl’s outposts around the country with 100 percent of the net profits from the sale of the $69 offering going to benefit amfAR. The kit includes a travel-sized sampling of their top sellers including, personal favorites, the Ultra Facial Cleanser and Ultra Facial Cream.

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