picture: Katharine Polk and Belgian Topmodel Anouck Lepère
My Name is Katharine Polk. I'm a fashion stylist and DAA spokes person, based in the United States
WHY DID YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED WITH DESIGNERS AGAINST AIDS, AS OPPOSED TO OTHER HIV/AIDS CHARITIES?
Designers Against AIDS is doing amazing things! DAA is not just trying to raise money to finance their prevention campaigns, but is also incredibly focused on educating youth. DAA and I believe that you are never too young to learn about safe sex. The first step to finding a cure is prevention!
Designers against AIDS allows me (as a stylist) to call on my community of fellow artists, designers, and models to contribute our talents to raise awareness and money for a great charity. So many talented photographers and artists from the fashion industry have collaborated with DAA already and it's inspiring and an honor to follow such greats as Marc Jacobs.
WHY IS THIS CAUSE IMPORTANT TO YOU?
I lost my Godfather, Colin Higgins, to AIDS when I was 5. Even though I was young, we were incredibly close. He was in the arts and would have been my biggest fan and hugest supporter. My parents have always taught me to give back and ever since I was small, I have dedicated my time to finding a cure for AIDS. Now that I am a fashion stylist I am proud to be associated with DAA, a charity raising awareness for HIV/AIDS through fashion and other forms of pop culture and the arts.
TELL US ABOUT BEING ON SET AT THE DAA SHOOT?
The DAA campaign shoot was an amazing experience! I had a very clear vision of how I wanted it to come together and how the final images should look. We were booked solid all day with talent every hour and some hours with multiple celebs and models! Thankfully, the make-up and hair team were complete pros! Thank you!
As I do on all my shoots, I had loud music in the background to set the mood and I was "wearing a lot of hats" that day. I was styling the shoot as well as posing with each model/talent (since I have the honor of being the newest DAA spokesperson.) There was a lot of running back and forth from the dressing room!
The smiling, joking, and jumping around you see in the images is really what was happening on set. The mood was amazing and everyone was celebrating this shoot! I wanted the images to capture candid moments of friends coming together, raising awareness for a great cause. Alana Zimmer, Daiane Conterato and myself were laughing so hard it was difficult to get a still shot. Mid-shoot, I had the idea to write on Alana's tummy in red lipstick! This was an example of the laid-back and free-spirited atmosphere of our first DAA shoot in New York City.
I also love the shot of my friend, Maud Yeddou, a French fashion expert, who was 7 months pregnant at the time. I put the DAA shirt on her that read "Wrap it Up Before You Fuck It Up," which gave an ironic but important message for that photo in particular.
One other moment that was unforgettable was Linda Morand, Milena Ilina and Anouck Lepère: 3 generations of super models and a stunning shot! It was one of those moments that just gave you chills.
I feel that the whole shoot really came through and photographer David Needleman did an outstanding job of capturing those candid moments between us!
The shoot was a joy and I cant wait for the next one!