Fashion Cares

My first foray into fashion activism.

It was a long time ago now - 1986 to be precise, when, surrounded by pro-condom messaging and HIV/AIDS news, the unthinkable happened and many of us began to lose friends and colleagues to this new and mystery illness, which was at the time untreatable.

In a gesture of solidarity, and as a down payment towards improving things, a small group of us Style Magazine Types met in the office of top PR Lynne Franks to discuss how to raise funds for AIDS research and treatment. Fashion Cares would be our slogan and sales from the merchandise we would produce would make a small contribution, to the huge cost of finding a cure.


This was the era of the signature T-Shirt where every designer worth their salt was diversifying and diffusion ranges at cheaper price points were highly desirable. In a bid to outdo the singular signature T, we hit upon the idea of gathering everyone together on one design.

Once we had all 40 odd names of the stars of the day, we would sell to an attentive audience from within the pages of our Magazines.

I shot my t-shirt with Nick Knight for i-D Magazine and modelled it myself for the Radio Times (I sneaked it into a Clothes Show promo as you can see above)

Iain R Webb made a brilliant shot for Blitz Magazine with his heroine designer Jean Muir.

And the The Face did something nice with Robin Derrick at the helm but I forget. Well it was nearly 30 years ago.

It was more than a fundraising exercise for this hopeless idealist and what it taught me was this: If you do have to Do Something. And when you do that something (whatever it is) or get active (however you do it), others join in and contribute their passion and energy too. I can honestly say that this way of working has guided me ever since.

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