For the second year in a row, H&M and Designers Against AIDS (DAA) team up with some of the biggest celebrities from the world of fashion, music and entertainment. The Fashion Against AIDS apparel campaign works to fight the disease and raise awareness among young people. Artists such as Estelle, N.E.R.D, Katy Perry, Dita von Teese, and Yoko Ono worked with H&M to design t-shirts, t-shirt dresses, tank tops and bodysuits. Twenty five percent of the campaign sales will be donated to HIV/AIDS youth awareness projects. This special 100 percent organic cotton collection launches for guys and girls in H&M DIVIDED departments beginning June 2009.

“The collection has a 1980s feel with mixtures of white, bright and graffiti-like prints. Girls can wear them with short skirts or worn denim with big accessories to complete the look. Boys can match the t-shirts with colored denim or rolled-up chinos complimenting the 80s aesthetic” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M Head of Design. “The fight against AIDS has always been one of our priorities, and H&M is overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and commitment from each and every celebrity involved in this collection.”

“H&M and Fashion Against AIDS are very important to us. We could never reach an audience of so many young people on our own,” explains Ninette Murk, founder, Designers Against AIDS. “AIDS is still a significant issue. People establish an attitude towards their sex lives at a very young age, so it’s very important for them to realize how crucial safe sex is, as early as possible.”

For the 2009 Fashion Against AIDS collection, the message is loud and clear with bold language and vibrant colors. Roisin Murphy’s t-shirt is bold with the phrase “PROTECTION IS POWER” on the front and back of a men’s t-shirt and a women’s bodysuit. N.E.R.D uses a clever graphic to shout “USE YOUR BRAIN” on vibrant tank tops and t-shirts for both men and women. Estelle designed a tank top with the slogan “LIFE IS TOO SHORT – HAVE SEX BE SAFE” next to a sassy silhouette of an empowered woman. Katy Perry’s clever safe sex message, “WHAT’S ON THE OUTSIDE IS WHAT COUNTS,” appears on both a bodysuit and a cap-sleeved shirt. In a nostalgic nod to her roots, “GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE SAFE SEX” is scribbled in pink lipstick on Cyndi Lauper’s t-shirt. Others include Yoko Ono’s design of the words “IMAGINE PEACE” in multiple languages and Robyn’s feisty “PROTECT YOUR BODY.” Dita Von Teese, an avid supporter of AIDS causes, created an alluring image of her iconic red lips and arched brow on a cute cap-sleeved T.

“It’s an honor to be asked to take part in this brilliant project. As individuals, every little thing we do can add up to something that makes a major impact in the fight against HIV,” says Dita Von Teese. “With the purchase of these stylish t-shirts, anyone can be a part of something that makes a huge difference in this pandemic, while looking super-chic!”

In the United States alone, over a million people were living with HIV by the end of 2008. What is particularly worrisome is that an estimated 250,000 of these individuals were unaware of their HIV positive status. Fashion Against AIDS fights the assumption that the message about HIV and AIDS is widely known. Each new generation needs to be made aware of AIDS to prevent further spread of the disease. With HIV and AIDS, complacency is not an option.

This is the second year that H&M has teamed up with the charitable organization Designers Against AIDS to disseminate the safe sex message to young people. Last year’s campaign was a stunning success, with over SEK 15 million donated to HIV/AIDS prevention projects.


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