DESIGNERS AGAINST AIDS
Non-profit organization ‘Beauty Without Irony’ has launched the international project ‘Designers Against AIDS’ (DAA) in 2004 in order to raise AIDS awareness in the international media and towards the general public, more specifically towards young people in the industrialised countries using elements from pop culture (music, fashion, design, arts, sports, film, celebrities, etc).
HOW DOES DAA WORK?
AIDS awareness project Designers Against AIDS -born in Belgium, but active all over the world- wants to reach out to young people by using their favorite celebrities from the worlds of music, fashion, sports and art to raise their interest and curiosity, making them visit the website www.designersagainstaids.com, click on the links to local AIDS organizations and learn more about HIV/AIDS.
The main objective of Designers against AIDS is to raise awareness and to get the subject of HIV/AIDS back into the media all over the world, as lately it has become a forgotten disease, especially in the western world. Our messages are: ‘Prevention is the only cure for HIV/AIDS‘ (Protect yourself and your partner) and ‘Know your status’ (Get tested). Furthermore we fight for the acceptance of and equal rights for seropositive people.
Continuing with new international collections and projects presented ever since the start, DAA has reached a vast amount of press in lifestyle TV programs, daily newspapers, glossy magazines, blogs and different spaces in media, mainly focused to a young audience. Media who have reported about DAA include i-D, Vogue, Interview, Elle, International Herald Tribune, Zoo Magazine, De Morgen, Weekend-Knack, De Tijd, El Pais, El Mundo, Citizen K, Marie-Claire, Vanity Fair, Madame Figaro, Libération, New York Post, Le Monde, Cosmopolitan, MTV, TMF, JIM TV, Studio Brussels, Interview, Canal +, Fashion TV, Vogue TV France...
The most important tool for DAA is the website www.designersagainstaids.com that is shown on the logo that’s printed on every item, in press releases and publications and that constitutes a platform with links to local AIDS organizations. This way, visitors can learn how to protect themselves -and how to help others who are less fortunate than they are. And if they look for this info actively on their own computer, maybe they will remember/understand it better than when surrounded by others in a classroom, as this can be very distracting for some. Currently the informative pages are available in Arabic, English, Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Bulgarian, Polish, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Finnish and Ukranian. Soon Bahasa Indonesia, Bengali, Filipino, Swedish, Georgian and Serbian will be added, with more languages coming up.
International HIV/AIDS Awareness Education Center
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. Since the education center opened its doors we have hosted over 100 students, over half of whom also lived at the center. We also welcome high school/university students for short duration workshops; among others we have welcomed a class from The Art Institute of Chicago and a group of Tokio Hotel fans who did a global campaign on our behalf
EASTPAK Artist Studio
Eastpak Artist Studio is a project that offers a platform for established and up-and-coming artists to use their creativity to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS amongst youngsters. The project lets young talent and renowned artists explode their wittiness and creative compulsions on the most classic and cult EASTPAK backpack: the Padded Pak’r®. For our second year collaborating together, the 2013 edition involves 56 artists from 14 countries on 3 continents.
DAA by JBC
A yearly capsule collection by Belgian retailer JBC, which each year invites a Belgian fashion designer or celebrity to design a collection for its young customers while incorporating the safe sex message either through the clothes themselves and/or through the social media campaign, which is designed with the help of IHAEC students. On its 3rd edition now, past collections have involved Lio, An Lemmens, Hannelore Knuts, Buscemi, Mauro Pawlowski (DEUS), Pad’r, Stijn Meuris, Tatiana Silva…
Fashion Against AIDS - A Collaboration With H&M
DAA conceptualized and collaborated for 5 years with giant fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz on a yearly global collection and campaign titled “Fashion Against AIDS”. Over the years we collaborated with some of the world‘s most acclaimed musicians and fashion designers, such as Timbaland, Katharine Hamnett, Tokio Hotel, Katy Perry, Roisin Murphy, Pharrell Williams/N.E.R.D., Estelle, Yoko Ono, Dita Von Teese, Dangerous Muse, Cyndi Lauper, Yelle, Robyn, Rihanna… At the start in 2008 ‘Fashion against AIDS’ was available in 27 countries and by the 5th edition in 2012 in 43 countries, reaching millions of youngpeople. The sales of these collections allowed us to raise almost 13 million USD which benefited 4 charities and their prevention work: Designers against AIDS, UNFPA, MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation and YouthAIDS.
Marc Jacobs X Playboy T-shirts To Benefit DAA
Marc Jacobs created this T-shirt (and two other styles) for Playboy, to 100% benefit Designers against Aids. The limited edition tees were sold in Marc Jacobs stores worldwide and in the Marc Jacobs online store and during Fashion Week in the spring of 2011 in New York, London, Milan and Paris Marc Jacobs made shopwindows for this collection, proclaiming his love for DAA.
Marc Jacobs wrote: “Just wanted to let you know about our latest windows at the Marc by Marc Jacobs store (403 Bleecker Street, NY). In collaboration with Playboy, we are featuring a Playboy themed photo window which goes along with the collector's book set, Hugh Hefner's Playboy, 6 Volumes, for sale at Bookmarc (400 Bleecker Street, NY). Starting Friday, February 11th through the 18th, customers will be able to get their photo taken with Playboy bunnies in the window of our store, and will receive free prints. In addition, we are also supporting Designers Against AIDS, through the sales of new Marc Jacobs + Playboy T-shirts. The 3 T-shirt designs retail for $35 each, with 100% of the proceeds going to benefit the charity.”
Thank you Marc Jacobs!
DAA: The First Decade
"A celebration of pure beauty, idealism and lust for life"
In november 2010 we launched the book ‘DAA: The First Decade’. Ten years ago Designers against AIDS (DAA) was born. Founder of DAA and its mother organization art platform Beauty without Irony, Ninette Murk, was asked to translate her no nonsense message into a book. Beauty, positivity and tolerance are the main focus of ‘Designers against AIDS: The First Decade’.
A collection of more than one hundred amazing pictures: all different visions on pure beauty and a look at the past: 10 years of initiatives and campaigns, highlighting the most beautiful and significant moments and the inspiring story of founder Ninette Murk. In addition Baron Professor Peter Piot, former President of UNAIDS and philosopher/writer Alain de Botton contributed to this book. The cover is by famous Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf.
You can still order this beautiful book online- via DAA or via www.amazon.com and find it in bookshops worldwide.
In October 2013 Designers against AIDS opened its new online store on http://designersagainstaids.tictail.com/ here you can find our book, the iconic DAA
T-shirts, selected items from our ‘Fashion against AIDS’ collections and new and vintage designer items from brands such as Prada, Balenciaga, Hermès, Rick Owens, Marni and more. All proceeds of these sales benefit the work of Designers against AIDS
Models against AIDS
In January 2008 DAA established ‘Models Against Aids’ in order to inform girls and boys who dream of becoming a model about HIV/AIDS and safe sex. Models Against AIDS also raises funds for future AIDS awareness programs: for every booking, each model will donate 1% to DAA. Furthermore, models will take part in future campaigns, give lectures at schools, speak out during interviews and at events and motivate their colleagues to also join MAA. Spokesperson for Models Against AIDS is Belgian top model Elise Crombez
Many more projects and events to come soon…