The international organization gets a makeover with stars like Dunst and Prada Sport

By Megan Quitkin
Updated September 14, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
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The red cross has long represented neutrality and emergency relief—but, hey, it’s also stylish. ”It’s a great look,” says Barneys’ head of merchandising Judy Collinson, linking the symbol to the craze for military looks. Prada Sport offers outerwear with the cross, while Belgium’s A.F. Vandevorst uses it as her trademark. Urban Outfitters sells red cross panties like the ones Kirsten Dunst modeled in Maxim. And it’s not just clothes. NYC’s C.I.T.E. and Ad*Hoc sell everything from red cross glasses to ambulance toys. ”[It] speaks of war,” says Collinson, ”but it also represents peace and hope.” Seems the only one not into the trend is the Red Cross. ”Commercial use of the…emblem is a no-no,” says Stacey Grissom, a media relations associate for the agency. ”It jeopardizes our neutral status.” Currently, the Red Cross isn’t suing over improper use of its symbol, but it is asking designers to cease and desist. Now if only someone would do the same for camouflage.

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