It's been approximately 30 years since the fashion world first felt the immense blow of the AIDS epidemic — friends, coworkers, and leaders passed away from a disease that had no known cure. But, the latest campaign launched by one of the most powerful women in the style world, Anna Wintour, of course, is honoring the generation lost by saving the one to come. And, yes, they're doing it with a clothing collaboration.
Teaming up with Born Free, Wintour, Vogue, Diane von Furstenberg, and a few dozen other industry superstars have kicked off an initiative to save an entire generation of children in sub-Saharan Africa from contracting the HIV virus from their mothers in utero. It's a feat that, as WWD reports, might be as simple as taking a pill — one that is 98% effective at stopping transmission. Of course, administering this treatment to mothers may not be quite so simple, and that's where Wintour turned to moms in the industry to help. Exclusively available on Shopbop, the Born Free collection includes designs from Miuccia Prada, Consuelo Castiglioni, Clare Waight Keller, Phoebe Philo, Isabel Marant, and several others who lent their talent and created mama-and-me designs using the artwork of Wangechi Mutu. To further drive the cause home, Vogue will be running a huge feature on the initiative in this month's issue, shot by Annie Leibovitz and starring Victoria Beckham and Liya Kedebe.
Admittedly, we're always a bit skeptical of clothing collections campaigning to create major change and, well, anytime a serious global issue is narrowed down to a few glossy pages in a magazine. But, there's something to be said for the Born Free campaign that we just haven't seen before. It's a major move by some of the most powerful leaders in the fashion world to repair something so broken that can be easily fixed. And, with (realistic) goals to reach all the children in the sub-Saharan as early as 2015, it's perhaps a move they can't afford not to make. (WWD)