Lensed by Steve Hiett and styled by Robert Rabensteiner featuring models Vika Falileeva, Siri Tollerød & Helena Greyhorse.
Beauty Without Irony founded Designers Against AIDS (DAA) in 2001 as an answer to the media ambivalence towards HIV/AIDS and sharply increasing infection rates among young people. To effectively reach out to young people, DAA uses pop culture and actual interests of young people such as fashion, music, celebrities, social media… to bring the message that “if you are old enough to have sex, you are old enough to have safe sex”. In 2006 DAA partnered with H&M to create yearly capsule collections under the co-brand name Fashion Against AIDS, featuring reasonably priced / issue oriented pieces designed by celebrities such as Katy Perry, Rihanna, Pharrell Williams /N.E.R.D., Timbaland, Yoko Ono, Ziggy Marley, Robert Smith (The Cure) and countless others. DAA has also collaborated with Eastpak, Playboy Design, Marc Jacobs, Delvaux, JBC, Six Scents Perfumes among others, in reaching out to young people all over the world. In 2010 DAA launched the International HIV/AIDS Awareness Education Center (IHAEC). The training center in Antwerp (Belgium) hosts students from all over the world, teaching them how to set up effective and creative HIV prevention campaigns, using DAA’s pop culture based methodology. The students take this knowledge home, they are encouraged and supported to build up equally successful campaigns in their countries of origin – sharing and spreading their knowledge and experience among their peers. In 2013, DAA expanded to Indonesia (in Bali, specifically), one of the countries with the highest infection rates in the world. Under the banner of Bali Against AIDS, we bring the same pop-based approach in reaching out young people over there.More exciting news?Indeed yes!
Designers against AIDS is revamping their online charity store (http://designersagainstaids.tictail.com/) and it’s starting to look pretty good already! Already mentioned in i-D Magazine, Elle Belgique, Gazet van Antwerpen and on the Flanders Fashion Institute blog in this first week, articles are coming up soon in Schön Magazine and more media .Now more than ever there is need for help coming from people inside the fashion industry in order the products in charity store to be as varied as possible (styles, sizes, categories, prices, goodies for women and for men…) to support the work of Designers against AIDS, their education center and new project ‘Asia against AIDS- Back To Zero’ (the reason that many products in the store are from India, Indonesia and Thailand). The garments/accessories can be new or vintage, samples, special or regular pieces… Anything that you think people will want to buy and that’s in a (near to) perfect condition is perfect for a donation!
(Many thanks to Ninette Murk)
”The Icon and the Iconoclasts” is a Louis Vuitton project to celebrate the iconic ‘LV’ monogram by selecting big names of the fashion industry into a ”dream team”. The likes of Karl Lagerfeld,Christian Louboutin,Rei Kawakubo, Cindy Sherman,architect Frank Gehry and industrial designer Marc Newson will be offering their ‘interpretation” of the famous monogram plus,a handbag of their own design.Naturally,those items will appear as a capsule collection and rated as ‘collector’s items’-aka the dream of every fashionista. Now,executive VP Delphine Arnault said, ‘we simply went to those who are among the best in their fields. We were interested in people who work with their minds and their hands.’ As for the collection, The ‘Icon and The Iconoclasts’ project is expected to launch later this fall.
Recently i came across a very interesting written piece that is dealing with something i thought i was past-diversity amongst models in fashion campaigns and advertisements.How wrong i where!Here’s the piece,courtesy of ”The Fashion Spot” and Elena Drogaytseva.
It’s no secret that the fashion industry has a diversity problem. It’s an issue that has been visited again and again, but still somehow remains a problem season after season. Last year, Bethann Hardison and the Diversity Coalition sent out letters to fashion’s governing bodies in New York, Milan, Paris and London, calling out designers who failed to use more than one (or simply no) models of color on their runways. “Whether it’s the decision of the designer, stylist or casting director, that decision to use basically all white models, reveals a trait that is unbecoming to society,” each letter reads.
Since the letters were sent out, there seems to have been a conscious decision by a few designers to add a little more diversity, not only on their runways, but in their campaigns. But how far-reaching are these efforts? If the Fall 2014 campaign season is any indication, the answer is not very.
We combed through 283 fashion campaigns this season (leaving out beauty and fragrance) to see just how diverse the Fall 2014 campaigns were. We looked at every girl, taking special note of any women of color used this season. We classified POC as any nonwhite person of African, Asian, Middle Eastern or Native descent, also adding multiracial women into the pot. Fashion is all about appearances, and while there were some women who could technically be considered “ethnic” (at least to the Western world, which is a whole other issue in itself), we only counted those women who appeared to be of color. It’s nice and all to use a girl of, say, partly Middle Eastern descent, but if she simply looks white when you look at the campaign, you’re going to read “white.” Diversity is something that needs to be seen, and if it doesn’t register, then it’s pretty much not there.
On to the girls. As one might expect, the numbers were pretty bleak. We counted roughly 285 girls used in the campaigns. Out of those, only 32 were models of color, about 11 percent of the total girls. The models of color featured the most were Binx Walton, who appeared in Balmain,Chanel and Coach; Malaika Firth, who posed for Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger and Zara TRF and Joan Smalls, making appearances in Gucci, ICB by Prabal Gurung and Missoni. Other standouts included Issa Lish(Balmain, Coach), Ysaunny Brito (Balmain, Neil Barrett), Liya Kebede(H&M, Louis Vuitton), Tian Yi (Marisfrolg, MICHAEL Michael Kors), Bonnie Chen (Brunello Cucinelli, Hogan) and Liu Wen (La Perla, MO&Co.).
Comparing the top girls of color to the top girls overall this Fall 2014 campaign season, there isn’t really much of a comparison. Each of the top three girls of color was only featured three times. Whereas the top white models like Gisele Bündchen, Andreea Diaconu and Karmen Pedaru boast between six and seven appearances each, Binx, Joan and Malaika have only half of those. In fact, Karlie Kloss, Lindsey Wixson, Josephine Skriver, Gigi Hadid, Freja Beha Erichsen, Crista Cober and Josephine Le Tutour weren’t even included in our “top girls” category and they still were featured more times (four each) than our top three girls of color.
Roughly 31 percent of the models of color were used more than once, compared to white models who were featured more than once about 35 percent of the time. Balmain took the crown for most diverse campaign, as one of the only ones to have predominantly cast models of color.
So, what does this say about Fall 2014 fashion? Obviously, the numbers are disheartening. The fact that there were so few models of color used for any campaigns shows that although there are some designers who are happy to pay lip service to the industry’s diversity issue, there are few who actually step up and feature nonwhite models in campaigns. Runway diversity improved a paltry 1 percent from the Spring 2014 season (at least in New York), since Hardison & co. sent out those letters, and it appears that the Fall 2014 campaigns aren’t doing too hot, either. Roughly 79 percent of the models used on the runways were white. For the latest campaigns, it hovers around 89 percent.
Whether the exclusion is conscious or unconscious, the fact of the matter is that there simply needs to be more representation. Lots of times, casting directors attribute the lack of diversity to the fact that agencies don’t have as many models of color available, but if Andreea can be cast in six campaigns, why not Joan, Liu, Binx or Issa?
There is little excuse, really. We can only hope that looking at these cold, hard numbers will inspire designers and casting directors to be a little more conscious of who they’re choosing for campaigns in the future. There simply needs to be more diversity — period. Fashion is a global industry and there are beautiful, tall, skinny (body diversity is another issue, but we won’t go there) women of all races and nationalities all around the world. Model scouts: You can find them. Casting directors: You can book them. Designers: You need to demand them.
Disclaimer: Even though i chose to feature the recent Kidman/Klein editorial for Interview Magazine,i understand and share its potential offensive status,a status that,to my opinion,can’t be justified by means of ‘artistic freedom’.In any case,its not a gallery, we are talking about,is a feature to a mainstream fashion/lifestyle magazine (Interview) dealing with issues as sensitive as rape and male violence…Thanks.