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H&M's unisex collection comes with a new twist
Feb '11
Fashion Against AIDS (FAA) is an extremely important initiative for H&M and this year the collection comes with a new twist. FAA is a campaign designed to raise both funds and awareness, which has so far donated over 41 million Swedish Krona for Designers Against AIDS (DAA) and various other international HIV/AIDS projects.

Because the HIV/AIDS message is as important for young women as much as it is for young men, the sporty unisex collection is for everyone to wear in their own way. The collection is available in H&M's Divided department from 26th April and 25% of sales will be donated to youth HIV/AIDS projects around the world.

“We wanted to create a unisex collection with a sporty vibe. It felt really liberating to think of the cut, the shape and the fabric first before thinking of what gender it should be for. Key pieces are the slogan T-shirts as well as the sports style jacket with zip details, which can be worn in all sorts of ways. FAA is vital because it is so crucial to make young people aware of HIV and AIDS,” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, Head of Design at H&M.

“H&M's FAA campaigns are extremely important, as it is essential to spread the message to young people worldwide to take care and have safe sex. The main message is: life is beautiful, so keep it that way and be safe, both for yourself and your partner. HIV is everywhere, not just in Africa, not just in the gay community – HIV concerns us all. If you're old enough and wise enough to make love, you're also old and wise enough to take care,” says Ninette Murk, founder and creative director, DAA.

Women can work that boyfriend look and men are working with styling more than ever in the way they dress. The starting point is shape and detail, with sporty T-shirts, blousons and parkas that are there to be personalised: sleeves can be rolled up or zipped off, waists can be belted and garments totally adapted from one item into another.

Comfort is a key factor and colours are naturals as well as pale pastels which means they can be worn by all. A draped nylon parka looks just right as it is, or its sleeves can be zipped off and its waist accentuated to turn it into a dress for girls. The oversized and asymmetric slogan T-shirts can be worn in so many ways, while the collection is full of the perfect track pants, tanks and shorts perfect for summer.

This is the fourth year of H&M's FAA initiative, which aims to promote safe sex and HIV/AIDS awareness both through the messages found in the collection and through the advocacy of the organisations which benefit from the sales.

The money has been divided between Designers Against AIDS (DAA), the NGO who brought the concept of Fashion Against AIDS to H&M and that promotes awareness of HIV/AIDS among the young, investigating new methods of peer group education and campaigning, YouthAids, focusing on its projects in Haiti and Russia to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in chronically affected areas, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB

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