Known for its fashion forward creations and designer collaborations, H&M now joins forces with Designers Against AIDS (DAA) in the battle against AIDS. Supported by various artists, the initiative aims to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS, which affects many young people all over the world. The artists taking part in ‘Fashion Against AIDS’ are Rihanna, Chicks on Speed, Good Charlotte, Henrik Vibskov, Jade Jagger, Katharine Hamnett, My Chemical Romance, Rufus Wainwright, Scissor Sisters, The Cardigans, Tiga, Timbaland and Ziggy Marley.

The idea behind the collection is to draw attention to HIV/AIDS and increase young people’s awareness of it. Twelve million young people in the 15-24 age group are now infected with the virus. Designers Against AIDS (DAA), a non-profit organisation that seeks to mould public opinion through collaboration with fashion designers, musicians and other artists, took the initiative for this collaborative venture. “Supporting the Fashion Against AIDS campaign was a great way to encourage my fans to join me in the fight against HIV/AIDS. I love that H&M is providing a fashionable and easy way for young people all over the world to get involved in this worthy cause, “says Rihanna.

The artists participate free of charge and 25% of the proceeds from the collection will go to HIV/AIDS-prevention projects around the world. This will be coordinated by DAA and YouthAIDS, Population Services International’s (PSI) HIV/AIDS prevention initiative that reaches more than 600 million young people in 60 countries. “Fifty per cent of the people newly infected with HIV are aged between 15 and 24. There’s an urgent need to do something in this target group. By combining fashion with music in this way we hope to get these young people to ‘stop and think’, as Katharine Hamnett puts it on one of the garments in the collection,” says Ninette Murk, the founder of DAA.

The collection comprises T-shirts, tank tops and hooded sweaters. All garments feature a print and the neckline label carries the name of the print designer. Some of the prints are low-key and subtle. Others like Katharine Hamnett’s print is big, black, block lettering on a white background shouts “USE A CONDOM!”. The collection ‘Fashion Against AIDS’ will be available in H&M’s Divided departments from February 2008.

Image: H&M by Daniel Jackson

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