In 2008, Naomi Campbell posed for a T-shirt as part of Marc Jacobs’ “Protect the Skin You’re In” campaign against skin cancer. Nearly 10 years later, the two are pairing up once more on another T-shirt benefiting a different cause.
After attending a World AIDS Day event at the United Nations last year, Campbell came up with the idea to partner with a designer on an official T-shirt for the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, or UNAIDS. Campbell says she called Jacobs to see if he’d be interested, and “Marc being Marc — he’s an amazing, loyal friend for 31 years — said, ‘Absolutely, I want to do this.'”
The partnership resulted in a limited-edition T-shirt that will raise funds for UNAIDS activities to support those around the world who are living with or are affected by HIV. The shirt will go on sale Thursday — one day before World AIDS Day — and will retail for $55 on marcjacobs.com and in select Marc Jacobs stores.
“Naomi’s long history of commitment to humanitarianism is both remarkably commendable and genuine,” Jacobs said. “I was honored to be asked by her to collaborate on this T-shirt in support of UNAIDS as a continued effort to raise awareness for this globally important cause.”
Campbell began her philanthropic career when she was just 23 years old. Now an icon in the fashion world and a runway legend, she said her desire to give back is innate. “It’s not about being in the fashion world — I could be in any world,” she said, “It’s how I feel as a person, as myself, Naomi. That’s how I got to meet an iconic person like [former South African] President Nelson Mandela, who taught me and explained to me the importance of giving back and I had an understanding of it. I wasn’t quite sure when I started when I was 23 what I was doing, but I liked doing it and that’s how it began.”
Reflecting on 2008’s “Protect the Skin You’re In” shoot, Campbell said, “I understand about melanoma. My stepmother died from another form of melanoma. When Robert Duffy and Marc spoke to me about it, I said, immediately, yes. I didn’t know it was gonna become such a big campaign for many, many years and I’m really happy to be part of it.”
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