Design in the Time of Eros

As New York’s fashionistas eyed to the glitzy runways and celebutante-filled seats of Fashion Week, other designers set their sights on an entirely different locale–your bedroom. Condoms, it seems, were everywhere.

A new graphic spin is put on the classic contraceptive by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America with Proper Attire condoms. The stylish packaging and discriminating (in a good way!) slogan–“Required for Entry”– are part of a campaign to attract female buyers, and put them at ease for toting these prophylactics around. “We wanted to make it cool for women to carry condoms,” said Rachel Molloy, brand director of Proper Attire. “Every element of the brand has been inspired by the world of fashion, from the brand name, and the chic packaging created by designers, to the fig leaf logo showcasing clothing in its most primitive form.”

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And its—well, sex appeal — is meant to go beyond the clinic visitor. Though the four different styles of condoms will be available at Planned Parenthood, you will soon be able to purchase them at W Hotels.

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Not to be outdone, New York City is also stepping up its game. On Valentine’s Day last year our Health Department set a national precedent with its NYC Condom campaign that increased condom awareness. While free condoms have been handed out at men’s health clinics since 1971, distribution points have grown exponentially. (After last year’s awareness-blitz, New York City, on the average, has distributed more than three million condoms a month.)

This year the city is giving its safe sex campaign a makeover with new designs and a less-than- discriminating slogan (“Get Some”). As any New York barfly can tell you, condoms could be found in random containers or scattered on surfaces throughout bars. But now these condoms have found a sleeker home. Enter Yves Béhar (this man has been crazy-busy, Metropolis POV proves it time and time again!). The San Francisco designer came up with packaging and dispensers to create an iconic brand that would attract the amorous as well as businesses owners who would volunteer to accommodate the displays.

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