Laura Brown and Jennifer Lotito tour a school in Johannesburg, 2023


Saving lives, one t-shirt at a time
We’re seeing red here at Veronica Beard—and we mean that in the very best way.

We’ve teamed up with (RED)—Bono and Bobby Shriver’s organization dedicated to fighting global health crises—on a limited-edition Waldorf t-shirt, with proceeds benefitting its lifesaving work. For every one of these ruched-sleeve tops sold, we will donate $100 to support (RED)’s efforts to bring critical health programs to women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa. From empowering frontline health workers to delivering HIV prevention and care, the organization fights to make preventable and treatable disease preventable and treatable for everyone.

“To whom much is given, much is expected—we really believe in this,” says Veronica Swanson Beard. “It’s why we launched #VBGIVESBACK and why we are so proud to partner with (RED). We consider giving back to be our greatest accomplishment.” Adds Veronica Miele Beard: “(RED)’s commitment to fighting preventable disease is extraordinary and inspiring, and we’re thrilled to support its amazing work. There is no greater feeling than making a difference in someone’s life.”

Here, we chat with (RED) President and COO Jennifer Lotito and Laura Brown, former editor-in-chief of InStyle who was recently named Chair of its Creative Council. They talk about the cause, why it matters and how your donations will make a difference.


From Laura Brown’s travel diary in Pretoria…

And Laura herself in Johannesburg

How did you become involved with (RED)?

I’ve known the folks at (RED) for a while, after meeting Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson, through their former fashion brand, Edun. I’ve recently been honored to join (RED) as chair of their inaugural Creative Council. We are re-engaging collaborators in fashion, film, food, music—you name it—to share (RED)’s mission to finally end global HIV.

What led you to engage with the organization in a deeper way?

In the U.S., we are fortunate to view HIV in the rear mirror. But in Africa, it is far from over. South Africa carries one of the largest burdens of HIV in the world: It accounts for almost 20% of the global population who are living with the virus, and over 12% of new infections. It’s also the leading cause of death, over heart disease, stroke, and violence. Given that the virus is treatable, it’s colossally unfair and unjust.

"I was privileged to see firsthand (RED)’s work in the field."

Tell us about your recent mission to South Africa. What was the most rewarding part?

Everything. I was privileged to see firsthand (RED)’s work in the field. I also think it was a key reminder of our place in things—we are all little cells passing through a global bloodstream. We visited one clinic in Pretoria where there was one doctor servicing a region of 90,000 people. 90,000. It was filled with pregnant women and they didn’t have an ultrasound machine. It was just insane.

So if there’s any way I can be helpful in reducing those burdens, I am honored to. Bono likes to say, “Don’t sleep on Africa,” and I don’t intend to. A strong, resilient and healthy Africa enriches us all.


Jennifer Lotito at a school in Johannesburg

How did you become involved with (RED)?

When (RED) was first launched in 2006, I was working at an advertising agency overseeing campaigns for a number of different brands, including one that was involved with (RED). The model of partnering with companies to create products and experiences to raise money for global health was totally revolutionary. I remember thinking, “Wow, I would love to work there!” I never could have imagined that, two years later, I’d be working there—let alone become President and COO.

Why is this cause so important to you?

The planet’s biggest killer isn’t a disease. It’s injustice. What makes (RED) unique is that we’re working with the world’s most iconic brands and people to drive money and heat to attack the root of the problem and empower those in need.

When you train a health care worker to fight AIDS, that same health care worker is going to be on the frontlines, fighting the next pandemic. When you help a young girl stay in school, not only is that girl going to be better positioned to make her own health decisions, she’s also going to become the next scientist, doctor, or businesswoman.

"There are so many global challenges that deserve our support and attention."

There are so many global challenges that deserve our support and attention these days. But unlike many of the world’s most pressing problems, we actually have the tools to end AIDS right now. What we need is the will to get the life-saving testing, treatment and care to the places that need it most. And that’s what (RED) is focused on.

You’ve seen the impact of (RED)’s work close-up. What has been the most rewarding?

The best part of my job is traveling to sub-Saharan Africa. There I get to see the impact of our (RED)-funded grants up close and personal—and the people who are doing the hard work to end this pandemic for good. It’s remarkable to witness both the incredible progress we’ve made and the challenges that remain. The people I encounter on the ground—doctors, nurses, educators—are some of the most amazing and inspiring people I’ve ever met. I often speak with mothers who have lost babies to AIDS and then were able to get on life-saving treatment and have healthy HIV-free children. Those are the stories that stay with me and, on challenging days, they remind me of what’s possible when companies and consumers come together to fight injustice.