Trust Jean Paul Gaultier to bring wit, heart, immediacy and poignancy to a fund-raising project.
Just named an ambassador for the French AIDS charity Sidaction alongside Line Renaud, Gaultier designed and produced a face mask that helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus while raising money for another insidious virus.
His “marinière” style exalts his signature sailor stripes, punctuated with a print of full, red lips. The collectible masks are made of triple-layer polyester textiles and produced to European health standards, according to Sidaction.
They sell for 12 euros at Sidaction’s online boutique, with all profits donated to Sidaction. The organization funds research on HIV as well as prevention and assistance programs for people living with HIV, spanning about 100 associations in France and abroad.
“When Line Renaud asked me to become an ambassador, it seemed obvious to me,” Gaultier said in a statement. “The fight against AIDS is above all a personal story, and one particularly close to my heart. I want to seize this opportunity to speak to young people and try to raise their awareness. I sincerely hope that one day researchers find a vaccine.”
Gaultier’s life and business partner, Francis Menuge, died of AIDS in 1990, and he’s been a stalwart supporter of Sidaction, known in fashion circles for its annual gala held at the end of each January couture week.
The last one coincided with Gaultier’s final couture show, held on the previous day at the Théâtre du Châtelet.
Renaud is vice president of Sidaction, founded in 1994. The popular French singer has been raising awareness about AIDS and money for scientific research since the Eighties.