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On Monday night I had the honour of attending the launch of two new brooches to raise money for the National AIDs Trust (NAT). Held at the Groucho Club in Soho, a champagne and canapé reception toasted the new pieces designed by two of the UK’s most innovative designers.
The National AIDs Trust is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to eradicating the stigma surrounding those living with HIV and AIDs. It aims to provide teaching, support, and practical help for those living with the virus.
In the past 27 years, the NAT have made huge leaps in improving the lives of those in the UK living with HIV. In 2000 they launched the first ever World AIDs Day, which takes place on the 1st of December. In 2012, after a seven year campaign, they successfully lobbied the government to make HIV treatment available to everyone living in England without charge.
As you can see, they’re an amazing organisation who do a huge amount of good for both the LGBT+ community and the general public. I was honoured to be at the launch with representatives from the Trust and the designers themselves.
First up was Lulu Guinness; renowned for her quirky colourful handbags, she had designed a beautiful new brooch for the Trust. Stamped with ‘Lulu Guinness’ on the back and with her trademark lips, the brooches are stylish and just another reason to treat yourself to a matching purse. They are selling for £19.99 from the NAT website or from Lulu Guinness shops.
Next was award winning jewellery designer Shaun Leane, who has collaborated with some of the biggest names in fashion, including the late great Alexander McQueen. House of Shaun Leane have created 25 brooches in sterling silver with red enamel and Swarovski crystals. Leane’s item is finished with a pear-shaped red stone nestled in the loop of the ribbon design. These limited pieces will be auctioned from the 27th October on the NAT website.
Both designers gave thanks to the organisation for getting them involved in the cause and both spoke passionately about the devastation that HIV and AIDs causes. The fashion industry has always been tightly involved with the LGBT+ community, and it was beautiful to see these two matched together to raise money for a charity that has given so much.
The evening was finished off by a performance by up and coming singer Raye, who at just 17, is an incredibly talented performer.
Overall the evening was fantastic, and I hope that the campaign raises much needed funds for the NAT, allowing them to continue their hard work. And remember, fashion may come and go but charity, and more importantly hope, is forever.
You can buy your red ribbon at the NAT shop.