This event was something between a fashion show and a Broadway play, with a dash of Cirque de Soleil thrown in for good measure. Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Girls performed their precision stomping routine and Tokyo street punk flair with a large group of young dancers who transitioned from all-American school kids to industrial goth punk kids as the show featured a "Glampire' set with a shirtless Mehcad Brooks from True Blood onstage.
I photographed the event at Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture with a Nikon DSLR, Pentax SLR, and a Canon XS. I was also tasked to create the web experience and marketing experience for the SF and LA events, working with Macy's West corporate offices in San Francisco.
The Passport show started with a men’s fashion event for 300 in the employee cafeteria of Macy’s San Francisco. By 1987, it was a bigger, fully produced event which drew AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor. Over the years, celebrity participants and major designers have included Sharon Stone, Liza Minnelli, Vivienne Westwood, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Annette Bening, Cindy Crawford, Tina Turner, Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Sean Combs and Mary J. Blige.
“It’s a different disease than when we started this fashion show more than 25 years ago,” said Jeff Gennette, in 2009. He's now CEO of Macy’s. Because more people are surviving and living with HIV and AIDS, the focus is now on supporting those with limited resources to maintain a good quality of life and on education and prevention programs aimed at those who are too young to remember the overwhelming number of lives the disease took in its early years.