A perennial favorite in our annual Holiday Gift Guide, Designers Against AIDS (DAA) is a non-profit organization launched by “Beauty Without Irony” in 2004 in order to raise AIDS awareness in the international media and in the general public. Born in Belgium but active all over the world, DAA reaches out to young people to raise awareness and to get the subject of HIV/AIDS back into the media all over the world. Their empowering messages—“Prevention is the only cure for HIV/AIDS” (protect yourself and your partner) and “Know your status” (Get tested)—address the lack of urgency about AIDS that the group has discerned in recent years. DAA also fights for the acceptance of and equal rights for HIV-positive people.
In October 2013 DAA opened its online store where you can find the iconic DAA T-shirts, selected items from their “Fashion against AIDS” collections, and new and vintage designer items from brands such as Prada, Balenciaga, Hermès, Rick Owens, Marni and more. Who Benefits: The greatest thing about the DAA store is that the organization donates 100 percent of all sales proceeds to charity because all items in their online store have been donated by supporters of DAA’s work. Here are some of our favorite items:
Hmong Textiles Bags
Hmong fabrics are meticulously hand embroidered and often feature hemp batik and/or block prints and patchworks, made with lots of love and attention to detail. Tell Me More: The DAA Hmong Collection consists of unique handmade shoulder bags, coin purses, and skirts made out of vintage fabrics sourced from Hmong tribes. The fabrics are combined with new red velvet, suede and soft denim by a young Antwerp designer to create a contemporary style. Each item has an DAA label inside. Ninette Murk, the Founder and Executive and Creative Director for DAA, says, “I collect vintage (fifty-year-old and more!) Hmong tribe fabrics from Asia—China, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos—and have a seamstress here who sews them into modern accessories. We use the proceeds for our project ‘Asia against AIDS-Back To Zero’, so the circle is round again.”
Hmong Textiles Embroidered Large Shoulder Bag: A spacious one-of-a-kind shoulder bag that features all-over hand embroidery and beautiful patchwork. Lined with red velvet. The bag has velvety black cotton at the sides. Metal press stud closure. Tell Me More: Measures 45 by 45 cm with 105 cm by 18 cm shoulder strap. How Much: 249 Euro.
Hmong Textiles Customized Shoulder Bag: This rectangular shoulder bag has a flap decorated with suede fringes. Metal press stud closure. Lined with red velvet. Tell Me More: Measures 35 by 35 cm with 130 cm by 8 cm shoulder strap. How Much: 149 Euro.
Small Striped Vintage Hmong Textile Purse: This small purse with red suede fringes is perfect for make-up, coins and/or condoms! Tell Me More: Measures 16 by 11 cm. Zipper closure. Lined with red velvet. How Much: 20 Euro.
How to Order: Go check out the new DAA store for clothes, accessories and more for men and and of course their iconic Robert Smith (The Cure) long-sleeved black T-shirts. Shop for all these items here: http://designersagainstaids.tictail.com/. You can also check them out at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/designersforcharity/.
For more information about Designers Against AIDS, log on to: www.designersagainstaids.com.
Compiled and written by Hank Trout