A Time To Remember

by ABARA SG on Nov 30, 2022

A Time To Remember

Dear Reader,

ABARA joins WHO, UNAIDS and other International Organizations, and communities in observing World AIDS Day 2022, an annual remembrance held on December 1. Last year, 1.5 million people became newly infected with HIV, and 650,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses.

The disease that broke out into a global pandemic in the 1980s hit the fashion industry like a tsunami. One after another, the brightest fashion talents succumbed tragically; Many died agonizing deaths, scorned and alone in the darkest of hours, shrouded in disgrace and stigma. Back then, AIDS was like The Black Death.

Vicitms of this disease included designers like Patrick Kelly, Angel Estrada, Adrian Cartmell, Clovis Ruffin, Halston amongst many others. Besides designers, AIDS also decimated other talents of the fashion universe, including the legendary illustrator Antonio Lopez, and iconic fashion muse Tina Chow, hair superstar Garren, journalist Tim Hawkins, and fashion executives Sergio Galeotti, Robert Hayes and Laughlin Barker. Our generation needs to learn that Perry Ellis was a real person, not just an American brand name, but a real person with a poetic presence.

We need to remember that Moschino is not just a label on a dress or perfume bottle. Franco Moschino was wickedly witty, an Italian surrealist, and a true talent.

We need to remember the quirky and the bold, the waifs and eccentrics like Klaus Nomi, Gia Carangi, Leigh Bowery, and Way Bandy, who once visited Singapore. We must use today to look at the huge contributions to the fashion arts of photographers and artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, David Seidner, Barry McKinley, Tony Viramontes, Herb Ritts, Bill King, actor Brad Davis, Stevie Hughes, the legendary Rudolf Nureyev and Keith Haring. And others, many others.

In the melee that is the fashion industry now, in this heaving, ever-explosive 24-hour madness and of Influencers and KOLs, incessant bloggings, tweetings and forums, we must not forget all the great and talented people who have gone before. It is vital for for us in the fashion industry to keep the flame burning for our fashion forefathers who slipped away from us years ago, whose spirit and bright talent will continue to inspire the next generation, many of whom were not even born in 1990.

Join us in saying a prayer for all the fallen heroes of fashion who deserve our respect and honour, the brightest lights of fashion who were cruelly snuffed out before they could have realised their fullest potential.

The ABARA Team