Though fashion is sometimes viewed as a frivolous industry, it takes many things seriously. Design, beauty, the value of the arts. And sex.
Since most would agree it’s chic to be safe, it’s no surprise then that late artist Keith Haring’s iconic graphics will be appearing on select condom packages next month. Haring’s work was always a celebration of life, containing cartoony outlined characters in action-filled tableaus of bright colours. In 1990, Haring lost the battle to AIDS, but always spoke publicly about living with the disease.
Designers have previously taken accessorizing to a whole new level. Recently Alexander Wang, all puns aside, came out with a line of black-and-white condoms neatly packaged in a box at his fall/winter 2009 collection on Valentine’s Day (coincidence?), while Marc Jacobs sold his all-blue condoms in select boutiques. They came with a handwritten note: “Remember, safety first! XXOO, Marc Jacobs.” The goal of using such large names in the worlds of art and fashion is to change the public’s perception of using protection and encourage women to have safe sex—in style, nonetheless.
This concept, of course is nothing new. AIDS awareness projects, like Designers Against AIDS, have been using fashion and celebrities to inform young people about the disease. DAA, which started in Belgium in 2004, hopes to raise awareness and teach people about HIV/AIDS by getting the message back into the media.
The Keith Haring condoms come in packs of three and cost $5.99. You can buy the Haring-inspired love gloves starting December 1, World AIDS Day, on ProperAttireCondoms.com and Haring.com. Proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood and the Keith Haring Foundation, which helps various AIDS-related charities and children’s foundations.
“Not only are Haring’s artwork and imagery bold and inventive, but we believe that our collaboration with the Foundation pays homage to Haring’s legacy and message to practice safer sex,” states Proper Attire brand director, Rachel Molloy.