Friday, August 5, 2011

South Africa:Positive Heroes Annual Fashion Show

South Africa:Positive Heroes Annual Fashion Show


South Africa:Positive Heroes Annual Fashion Show

Springleap in collaboration with Cape Town Fashion Council (CTFC) and HIV/AIDS NGO Positive Heroes, will be hosting a design competition with a conscience in anticipation of the Positive Heroes Annual Fashion Show, to be held in Cape Town in October 2011. This event and the ‘Inspire Courage’ design competition both aim to shine a light on the stigma and shame that still surround HIV/AIDS.

Sue Wildish (Executive Director of Positive Heroes) explains, “Our aim is to emphasise the idea that ‘Living Positively and Fashionably’ is entirely possible if you manage your status. Our collaboration with gives us a unique opportunity to create greater awareness and understanding of HIV, and the people who live with it – and to do it in style.”

“By challenging the Springleap design community to use their skills around the theme of ‘Inspire Courage‘, we offer them an opportunity to help inspire courage in anyone affected by HIV. “Regardless of their status”, commented Springleap CEO, Eran Eyal. Designs should illustrate courage in daily life, a positive outlook, and show how acceptance is key to ending the stigma around the HIV epidemic. Designs should embody the Positive Heroes concept of “ordinary people living extraordinary lives”, and should inspire people to get tested, to seek or offer support, take their medication, and live in an atmosphere free of fear, shame and discrimination.

Bryan Ramkilawan, CTFC CEO, believes, “Positive Heroes offers a completely different approach to dealing with HIV/AIDS. Their message is one of hope and inclusion. Therefore it was a simple decision for the Cape Town Fashion Council to partner and support the process. The awareness campaign and funds generated by the collaboration will be of tremendous benefit to the Positive Heroes initiatives. I am confident that the design community engaging with the project will create greater social awareness around this cause.”

A design panel comprising Positive Heroes, Springleap and CTFC members, as well as industry experts, will choose the top 3 designs that best illustrate these concepts. The winner will be rewarded with R10 000 in cash, with two runners up each receiving R2 000 in cash. Winning designs will be displayed and worn by the Heroes and volunteers at The Fashion Event (held in partnership with the City of Cape Town), which will take place at the Cape Town Civic Centre on the 27 October 2011. Some of the top designs overall will also be printed on A0 canvas and auctioned off for charity as once-off art pieces.

Designers can get started on their designs by heading to from August 3, 2011 for the full competition brief. Submissions will run from August 3 to 19 September 2011.

Positive Heroes’ goal is to challenge the stigma and fear surrounding HIV. We do this by drawing on the power that positive role models, living with HIV, have to change people’s minds and responses to an epidemic of silence and shame. Our Heroes come from all walks of life and from a wide range of communities both urban and rural. By involving these positive role models in a wide variety of activities at various levels, we are able to promote an acceptance and understanding of HIV and diminish fear, shame, stigma and discrimination. Allowing us to normalise the disease and balance the fear that surrounds HIV/AIDS with hope.