To be able to relaunch ACCESS FASHION at the same time as this announcement is extremely special to me. As a Stylist and Editor, in London and internationally, I have always strived to ‘do more’ and to ‘reach more’ people through fashion. So this year, it was an honour to be approached by the National Aids Trust and brought on board as the Curator of the Red Ribbon Campaign for 2014 – for World Aids Day.
My role was to carefully handpick two of my favourite British icons in fashion, jewellery, craftsmanship and design to create the first ever designer collaborations for the NAT.
Shaun Leane for the NAT
Whenever I talk or write about Shaun Leane I never feel that words are enough. The House of Shaun Leane evokes such an array of emotions, beauty, strength and fragility all at the same time – I knew he’d be the perfect fit for our 25 limited edition brooches.
Shaun said of his design: “The red ribbon is a well-supported and recognised motif so we wanted to retain the integrity of this powerful emblem. As a jewellery house, we pride ourselves on craftsmanship and the use of the finest materials, so to reflect our handwriting; we thought we would play with a contrast of materials and techniques to the design.
Our version of the Red Ribbon Brooch features a beautifully cut large pear shape Swarovski crystal. The vibrant red colour compliments the colour of the enamel. Each piece is hallmarked with a hand engraved edition number from 1-25.”
Lulu Guinness for the NAT
As Lulu Guinness celebrates her 25th anniversary as a designer it made total sense to invite her to be on board. She has created a ribbon that is true to the brand but that feels so significant to the cause. The lips are something Lulu is highly recognised for, but it’s also a symbol that the charity have used in previous years to raise awareness. Today, people STILL believe you can ‘catch’ HIV through a kiss. That’s totally incorrect, and I hope Lulu’s kiss helps to raise awareness of the real facts about HIV and AIDS.
Lulu Guinness: “The NAT is a charity that I have been supporting since I was a teenager and was delighted to get the opportunity to be involved in designing such an integral symbol for the charity.
I hand drew the design and wanted to make sure that was portrayed in the design, to give it a bit of a flourish! And included my iconic lip motif to add that designer touch!“
The NAT, HIV and AIDS
I was astonished when I began to research and find out facts about HIV and AIDS. Facts I really should have been taught whilst I was at school.
- Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK (22% of who are unaware they have it) and over 34 million worldwide. Yet NAT research shows that 1 in 5 people in the UK do not know that HIV can be transmitted through sex without a condom between a man and a woman.
Over the past five months I’ve learnt that there is still such a huge fear and wall around the illness. I wanted to use fashion as a tool to try and break some of these stigmas down and to help educate people.
We are so proud to have created these beautiful brooches and it’s a wonderful way of being positive – about HIV and AIDS.
The Lulu Guinness brooch is available to buy in Lulu Guinness stores and online.
You can make a bid for one of Shaun Leane’s brooches via the NAT and this link!
With thanks to Shaun Leane, Lulu Guinness and Swarovski.
Images credits: Shaun Leane and Kit Lee.