Mobilization of fashion designers
"La Mode Dessine l'Espoir" started 2003. More than 60 well-known fashion designers have supported the project by drawing a personalized light bulb. These light bulbs have been hand decorated by women living in the townships surrounding Cape Town.
Written : 0000-00-00 - Last modified 2018-06-24
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"Fashion designing hope" could be the translation for the cultural event asking a selection of well-known fashion designers to draw a personalized light bulb. Drawings were then interpreted by women living with HIV/AIDS in the townships surrounding Cape Town in South Africa. The prototypes would then be validated by their author.

A small series of each light bulb prototype is then produced by the women involved in the project and distributed in an international network of shops and department stores, with a donation of 5 euros included in the price of each bulb for Dessine l'Espoir.

Making the light bulbs has become an important income generating activity for approximately 30 South African women. This artistic and less time and stress-consuming activity, is so important when you are living with HIV/AIDS. The event guarantees months of work for them and allows for the training of newcomers.
More than 60 000 light bulbs have been produced up to now.

The donation of 5 euros on each designer bulb sold has been an important source of income for Dessine l'Espoir, contributing in the following years to support communities affected by the virus and build the international awareness campaign: I Love You Positive or Negative.


The first edition of "La Mode Dessine L'Espoir" last year created an incredible outburst of solidarity:

35 fashion designers have joined the project, including Agnès b., Alek Wek, Cacharel, Chantal Thomass, Christian Lacroix, Emanuel Ungaro, Enki Bilal, Franck Sorbier, Isabel Marant, Martine Sitbon, Maurizio Galante, Michel Klein, Nathalie Garçon, Paco Rabanne, Pierre Balmain, Nina Ricci, Stella Cadente, Thierry Mugler, Sonia Rykiel, Stéphane Saunier, Vivienne Westwood, Xuly Bët, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Marithé & François Girbaud...

The auction, organised at the Grand Hôtel in Paris was directed by well known Parisian auctioneer Rémy Le Fur, under the patronage of the French Minister of Culture.
More than 50 famous personalities have each sponsored a lightbulb, such as: humorist Muriel Robin, Actors Charlotte Rampling, Lambert Wilson and Julie Depardieu, singers Jean-louis Aubert, Dani and Lio, sport champion Stéphane Diagana...

All benefits of the auction of the original drawings and prototypes of bulbs have been funding a distinct Dessine l'Espoir, allowing the developpement of a medical and psychological complementary action supporting more than 2000 people in Swaziland and South Africa.
Since then, a donation of 5 euros included in the price of each bulb sold has also been donated to Dessine l'Espoir to pursue this action.

BHV - the Parisian department store, offered great exposure to the project thanks to a national campaign including Metro stations in Paris. Extensive media coverage was also given to the event with more than 100 articles and 8 TV coverages.

Presentation of the lightbulbs sold at the BHV in the parisian metro.


In 2004, in order to ensure the sustainability of the income generating project for the women, and to extend the "Espoir pour les Townships" program to more people - Ithemba and Dessine L'Espoir decided to renew the project with a new collection of light bulbs, imagined by new designers.

The auction took place on the 29th of November 2004 at the Grand Hôtel de Paris.

This edition gathered many famous international designers, including: Jean Paul Gaultier, Missoni, Nina Ricci, Calvin Klein, Gianfranco Ferré, Kenneth Cole, Pierre Cardin, John Galliano, Philippe Starck, Irina Volkonski, E2, Sissi Holleis, Unarmed Response, Stone Cherie, Sonia Rykiel, Givenchy, Loulou de la Falaise, Michel Klein, Han Feng, Stephen Burrows, Maurizio Galante, Lolita Lempicka, Odette Bombardier, Ove H Finseth et, Nanette Lepore, Karine Arabian...

- The Council of Fashion of America NY has also been supporting the project with 5 American designers.


Top fashion designers were asked to contribute to this project by creating a drawing fitting into the shape of a square. Then, a group of women affected by HIV/AIDS in Swaziland has embroided the designs on a square piece of fabric.

The "Square of Hope» have been presented on psyche-mirrors (Stand swing mirrors). The pieces of fabric covered the back of metal stand mirrors. On the other side of the mirror, the signature of the fashion designer was engraved.

The mirrors have been presented at Maison&Objet International fair in september 2007, then shown in "Musée des Arts Décoratifs".
These pieces have then been autionned with the proceed going towards Dessine l'Espoir on the 28th November 2007, at "Espace Pierre Cardin"

Designs by Viktor and Rolf, Alber Elbaz for Lanvin and Martin Margiela.

Useful links:


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