Designers Against AIDS
Designers Against AIDS was launched by non-profit organization ‘Beauty Without Irony’ in 2004. Their goal then and now is to heighten mainly young people’s awareness of AIDS through the use of various elements such as music, arts and fashion and has been a growing success ever since. Although the project originally developed from Belgium, it has an international following and is using the worlds most influential names in the media to grab the attention of the masses and help educate them more about the disease.
DAA has caught the eye of several important members of the media such as Vogue, i-D, ELLE, MTV, Cosmopolitan and countless others and as of November 2010 has even gone as far as to launch a book, ‘DAA: The First Decade’ which continues to educate and uplift the public about AIDS and what it means to be truly beautiful. This amazing book is a collection of over 100 inspirational images as well as a reflection of ten years of campaigns that highlight the defining moments of Founder of the organization Ninette Murk. I can only imagine how exciting it must have been for Murk to compile so many important memories into one book for others to read and learn from. However much they have already accomplished, DAA didn’t stop there. They have created an international HIV/AIDS awareness centre in Belgium,the first of its kinds, to continue to greaten the AIDS awareness to students across the WORLD who go to learn how to create their own awareness programme using similar media elements as DAA.
Cover for Designers Against Aids: The First Decade Book, image courtesy of designersaganstaids.com
They also went on to appoint Belgian born fashion designer Véronique Branquinho for Delvaux to design their own cute and highly fashionable condom pouches as support for DAA’s awareness centre. This little pocket of joy will be launched this Valentines day, clearly timed to perfection, and will be available for purchase from both the DAA and the Delvaux websites. As if all that wasn’t enough, this amazing organization made the brilliant decision to create their very own line of clothing in 2005. The first line began as a more T-shirt and Jersey based collection sold in various fashion and music shops across the globe and are designed by both emerging and already established talents in fashion, sport, music and several other industries.
Last but certainly not least DAA collaborated with one of the most popular and influential fashion brands in the industry to create an awareness of the disease through clothing and campaigns. Sweden based designers Hennes & Mauritz, otherwise known as H&M have worked very closely with DAA to create various ‘FASHION AGAINST AIDS’ collections of t-shirts, hooded sweattops and tank tops that were designed by the likes of Timbaland and Rihanna. This collection was distributed in H&M’s Divided department for both boys and girls and was heavily promoted by the media to 27 different countries.
Rihanna and Timbaland sporting ‘Fashion Against Aids’ tops, image courtesy of The Mail Online
It is clear to me that Designers Against AIDS is one of the biggest, most pro-active organizations teaching the youth of today things they would otherwise know very little about. AIDS is a very serious disease that took the lives of around 1.8 million lives in 2009 alone and continues to take millions more. This is why organizations such as DAA are needed and should be commended for their hard work and efforts to keep us all informed about the world we are living in and the ways in which we can actually help. To find out more about this wonderful project go to their website, http://www.designersagainstaids.com/ and see what you can do to get involved.