In 2020, supporting fashion with a purpose has never felt better. That’s the idea behind Balmain’s (Balmain)RED B-Court sneakers—a limited-edition launch that benefits The Global Fund‘s fight against HIV/AIDS and COVID-19. Designed by creative director Olivier Rousteing, the unisex accessory continues a long-standing partnership with the Global Fund and (RED) to provide funding and resources to countries impacted by both viruses.
The coronavirus pandemic has reduced access to healthcare for many fighting against AIDS, meaning it’s never been a more vital time to support the cause. In a statement to ELLE.com, Rousteing recalled being introduced to (RED) by Bono, who inspired him to design for the initiative. “Having begun my life in an orphanage, the struggles of vulnerable children across the globe is something that’s extremely personal for me,” he explains. “With AIDS killing more young people (aged 15-29) and more young women (aged 15-49) than any other disease worldwide, there are now almost 14 million children worldwide who have lost a parent to AIDS. Most of those children live in sub-Saharan Africa, and the work (RED) does is critical to the education, empowerment and protection of those children and their families—which is why I am thrilled to do anything that I can do to support it.”
Rousteing admits he became a bit “obsessed” with designs for the (Balmain)RED B-Court sneakers, jotting in sharpie on prototypes of the product. “Finally, we all realized that all my scribbles, notes and measurements were the ideal reflection of the devotion required from all of us to face this critical moment,” he recalls of the shoe’s graphic red-and-black look.
The (Balmain)RED B-Court sneakers are now available exclusively at Balmain’s new storefront on Madison Avenue in New York City, Balmain.com, and as part of the (RED) Shopathon event, for $595. 25% of all sales will directly benefit the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism. The organization hopes to raise $5 billion in the next year to fight against COVID-19 and provide healthcare for those impacted by the pandemic.
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