Posted: 02/16/2011 11:15:59 AM MST
Updated: 02/16/2011 08:24:48 PM MST
Posing for pictures with teens at a fashion swap and design contest to benefit Goodwill. At Fashion Group International’s annual meeting. Soon to be at Macy’s to judge a styling competition.
Mondo Guerra, more popularly known by his first name, is a Denver native whose colorful fashion designs and quirky personality earned him fans as well as placement among three finalists on “Project Runway’s” most recent season. These days, however, Mondo’s using his celebrity status to promote more than fashion.
During an episode of the hit design challenge TV show that aired last fall, Mondo, 32, announced he was HIV positive. That revelation drew support and made him a new voice in HIV/AIDS advocacy.
So his next fashion launch on Friday is The Pozitivity Project, an awareness campaign and a T-shirt featuring a big plus sign, sales of which will benefit Colorado AIDS Project.
The design, which Mondo originally did as a textile creation on “Project Runway,” is meant to signify having a positive outlook, he says.
“It’s not about living with HIV/AIDS. It’s about knowing who you are, and moving past all your struggles and moving forward with your life,” he said.
As for the beneficiary, “CAP helps so many people in a bad situation — it gives them hope.” Mondo, who has been HIV positive for 10 years, said he was a client of CAP two years ago. “I was really sick, too sick to work, so I was going to their food bank every week. Now I can pay it forward.”
Staying aware of the disease and talking about it is important as well, he says. “I hope when people buy a shirt they feel like a participant in that discussion.”
The Pozitivity Project Launch Party is from 6-9 p.m.Friday at Wilhelmina Denver, 209 Kalamath St., Ste. 10. At the launch, which costs $50 a ticket, guests can meet Mondo, get Pozitiv-a-Tees, and have their photo taken.
A portion of all ticket sales go to CAP. Tickets in advance only at coloradoaidsproject.org.