Gresham Blake X Laura Whitmore for MTV Staying Alive

Gresham Blake & Laura Whitmore have joined forces to design a tie in partnership with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation. Laura Whitmore is a long-time friend of MTV Staying Alive and also a good friend and client to Gresham Blake. During a suit fitting Laura got chatting to Gresham about MTV Staying Alive, the work they do with young people in fighting HIV and all the projects she’s worked on with them. That’s when the idea was born.

Laura drew inspiration for the design of the tie from some of her “favourite things – music, flowers and the colour yellow. This print makes me smile everytime I see it! And hopefully can brighten up many other people’s day. Profits go to MTV Staying Alive, a charity I’ve been involved with for almost 10 years.” HIV is still as relevant as ever – being the leading cause of death among young people (10-24) in Africa and the second leading cause globally. Gresham’s passion for the partnership is fuelled by the fact he has “lost a dear friend to this non-discriminatory virus.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom! With HIV prevention education along with providing people living with HIV with the right care and treatment, we can create a future where no more young people contract HIV and those living with HIV have the best quality of life.

We are so pleased to have the support of Rag’n’Bone Man, Laurie Vincent (of The Slaves), George Kwali, Fat Boy Slim, The Orbital, David Dimbleby and Shakeable Germ on this rockstar partnership! We will donate £20 to MTV Staying Alive from each purchase of a tie, retailing for £45. The funds raised from the ties will help MTV Staying Alive continue to support innovative youth-led HIV prevention projects around the world.

Gresham Blake & Laura Whitmore have teamed up with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation to support their vision of a world where no young person contracts HIV or dies from AIDS. MTV Staying Alive produce ground-breaking, original media content with vital HIV & sexual and reproductive health messaging. Additionally, they support grassroots, youth-led initiatives globally that provide education about HIV & sexual and reproductive health in their local communities.

This partnership will enable MTV Staying Alive to keep supporting projects like Aware Girls, who after finishing their four year MTV Staying Alive grant, successfully applied for a social enterprise investment.

With the start-up capital, they opened a boutique in central Peshawar selling embroidered dresses handmade by local young women. The boutique, called Jhalkay, is the first female-led embroidery business in town. Aware Girls not only ensure that all 500 girls who create dresses for them get paid properly, but they also provide them with vital skills and sexual health and rights training.

They have educated over 580 young women and girls through HIV/AIDS prevention sessions and have reached over 1,300 women through the awareness raising material available in the enterprise shop.

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