By Lucie Janik
with contributions from Francesca Bonfanti
 on April 5, 2016
Convivio's controversial campaign

MILAN — The latest campaign by charity event Convivio, slated for June 8 to 12 at the fairgrounds here, has stirred up controversy among designers and the Italian media.

The new campaign features Vogue Italia editor in chief Franca Sozzani and Donatella Versace, posing with the slogan “L’AIDS è di Moda,” which translates into “AIDS is fashionable.” The catchphrase tries to raise awareness that currently 120,000 people in Italy are HIV-positive, and each year 4,000 new cases of infection are registered.

But it appears that Convivio didn’t ask for Versace’s approval.

“I want to let people know that I have not given my approval for the advertising campaign of Convivio 2016 with the title: ‘AIDS is fashionable’ with my face on it. My fight against AIDS continues with undiminished commitment and with the media and the more suitable words,” Versace wrote on her personal Twitter account after the release of the images.

Stefano Gabbana questioned in a comment on an Instagram post of Convivio the taste level of the campaign. “Who writes the texts??? AIDS is fashionable??? So let’s write that also cancer is fashion!!!Really bad taste!!!! For me you are all insane.”

Convivio responded directly to the designer stating that “AIDS unfortunately is fashionable and finally someone speaks about it,” asking Gabbana to talk directly to the Italian organization Anlaids that works with ill people everyday and claiming that no one before this campaign knew that one could still die from AIDS.

Gabbana was quick to respond, saying, “Everyone uses their media, but I do not share this. I know a lot of people that suffer from AIDS and are horrified by this campaign.”