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Stay Safe in Style with Designer Condoms-New York

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designer condoms by Yves Béhar

From the "New We've Heard Everything" file comes this heartwarming tale from the mean streets of New York City.  In an effort to try to stop the spread of HIV and cut down on unwanted pregnancies, the city's Department of Health will be distributing 36 million free condoms, in locations ranging from bars and clubs to homeless shelters and public health facilities.  The kicker is, these won't be just any free condoms.  They'll be designer condoms, created in partnership with Swiss-born industrial design wunderkind Yves BĂ©har.

Technically, the condoms themselves won't actually be "designer" – they'll be your standard-issue rubbers, without any special logo or super sleek design to distinguish them from the drugstore variety.  The packaging, however, is where Behar's genius comes into play.  The socially-conscious designer best known for his "One Laptop per Child" program created both the condom's wrapper and its dispenser simultaneously, creating a visual synergy between both elements.  Behar designed the dispensers to be obvious and iconic – like, say, a fire hydrant – so that users instantly recognize them as condom dispensers.  However, he worked to make them "remind us of a condom without being preachy," and look "friendly and approachable."   If the designer's track record is any indication, soon every New York man will be carrying one of Behar's condoms in his wallet.   What better way to stay safe…without sacrificing style?

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