Photographer: Daniel Jackson
Photographers: Daniel Jackson (left photo), John Scarisbrick (right photo)
H&M and Designers Against AIDS (DAA) are joining forces in the battle against AIDS and are launching a collection for guys and girls together with Rihanna, Timbaland and other well-known designers, musicians and artists. The aim is to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS, which affects many young people all over the world. The collection "Fashion Against AIDS" will be available in H&M's Divided departments from February 2008.
The artists taking part in "Fashion Against AIDS" are Rihanna, Chicks on Speed, Good Charlotte, Henrik Vibskov, Jade Jagger, Katharine Hamnett, My Chemical Romance, Rufus Wainwright, Scissor Sisters, The Cardigans, Tiga, Timbaland and Ziggy Marley.
"Supporting the Fashion Against AIDS campaign was a great way to encourage my fans to join me in the fight against HIV/AIDS. I love that H&M is providing a fashionable and easy way for young people all over the world to get involved in this worthy cause, "says Rihanna.
The idea behind the collection is to draw attention to HIV/AIDS and increase young people's awareness of it. Twelve million young people in the 15-24 age group are now infected with the virus. The initiative for this collaborative venture was taken by Designers Against AIDS (DAA), a non-profit organization that seeks to mould public opinion through collaboration with fashion designers, musicians and other artists.
"Fifty per cent of the people newly infected with HIV are aged between 15 and 24. There's an urgent need to do something in this target group. By combining fashion with music in this way we hope to get these young people to 'stop and think', as Katharine Hamnett puts it on one of the garments in the collection," says Ninette Murk, the founder of DAA.
The artists participate free of charge and 25 per cent of the proceeds from the collection will go to HIV/AIDS-prevention projects around the world. This will be coordinated by DAA and YouthAIDS, Population Services International's (PSI) HIV/AIDS prevention initiative which reaches more than 600 million young people in 60 countries.
"Every fifteen seconds someone in the 15-24 age group contracts HIV/AIDS. Shopping has never been more important. Every garment sold makes a difference", says Kate Roberts, the founder of YouthAIDS.
The collection comprises T-shirts, tank tops and hooded sweaters. All garments feature a print and the neckline label carries the name of the print designer. Some of the prints are low-key and subtle, and whisper that this is important. Others raise their voice. Katharine Hamnett's print in big, black, block lettering on a white background shouts "USE A CONDOM!", while Tiga's check all-over print calls for quiet reflection. Some of the squares have a different color and represent all those who have the virus. The idea behind the campaign is summed up by Henrik Vibskov's print: Be aware - it is still happening.
"It's a collection that's rich in color, with considerable commitment going into every garment. The artists have created personal prints with a strong sense of style," says H&M's head of design Margareta van den Bosch.
Prices vary from £7.99 to £19.99. All garments are made from 100 per cent certified organic cotton and carry a special hang tag that reads: "This might be the most important piece of clothing you've ever had your hands on."