Marc Jacobs, Bethann Hardison, and Ralph Lauren are among the luminaries who describe fashion’s early response to the AIDS epidemic in the new edition of Vogue:
Author Phillip Picardi writes:
Over four chapters—which span from the early 1980s to 1990—I hope to illuminate some of the untold history of the AIDS crisis. This piece could have run all the way into the 2000s and, truthfully, all the way until today, since HIV/AIDS still plays a major role in our society and in our culture. Unfortunately, there is no logical ending point when it comes to a pandemic—its effects are, as you’ll read, forever felt. But the truth that’s important to tell here in this particular stretch of time is that normal, everyday people came together to really do something. I hope that spirit of community and rebellion is the biggest lesson you take away from reading these stories.
Because fashion was one of the industries most devastated by the epidemic, the non-response by leaders, and the social stigma, it makes for a harrowing read. There are also many parallels with the current pandemic, reminding us that we are living through a paradigm shift, “a gateway between one world and the next.”
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