“I received support from the Belgian organization Designers Against AIDS (DAA), and this was a huge boost for my thesis.” Guillem tells us how the fight against this disease has evolved over the years and how it has played a huge part in the stigmatization of the Queer community. “In the 80s, it was all about preventing people from dying, it was dire. Over the years, the situation has changed and there are now very few deaths in Europe and the United States from AIDS, but much remains to be done in terms of social acceptance of HIV-positive people. Actions now have to focus on making people more conscious.”
Back in Spain, Guillem continues to contribute to the cause: most recently, in collaboration with a photography contest organized by the national HIV organization CESIDA. “My stage in London, a very open-minded city and possibly my favorite place in the world – sorry Barcelona – helped me realize that I wanted to actively participate in bringing certain social problems to light and in breaking boundaries,” he shares. “In the fashion and pop music industries, there are fewer social prejudices than before, but the reality in other sectors is very different, and raising awareness remains crucial.”
“I want to continue participating in such initiatives, fighting for causes that are close to my heart, such as the rights of transsexual people and those of other vulnerable social groups.” Guillem’s smile has dropped and in the serious tone that takes precedence, his commitment to these issues is palpable. “Even though modern-day Barcelona is a progressive and tolerant city, there is still a portion of its population that, due to plain ignorance, is very conservative. Using my designs to help marginalised groups of people stand out is my way of showing support and my contribution to the world,” he states.