The story behind my care bra for breast cancer survivors

The story behind my care bra for breast cancer survivors

by marlies|dekkers

Breast cancer awareness has always been a cause very close to my heart. And from the beginning of my brand, I have had conversations with breast cancer survivors who told me about their struggles, needs and wishes. Since comfort and support is in the DNA of all my designs, I often received very positive feedback from these women about my collections. But I wanted to know more. A few years ago, after a meeting with renowned surgical oncologist Jean Klinkenbijl, I decided to organize a special get-together for my team and a group of (ex-)breast cancer patients. That evening, I discovered that out of the 15 women present, 14 women had their needs met by my regular designs. Not bad, but not enough for me. I knew what I had to do: design a special post-op bra.

 

Based on all the precious feedback and professional advice I received throughout the years, I gave the bra a flexible shape to ensure an extremely comfortable fit. The soft, pre-shaped cups had to be wireless and offer more coverage than usual. I created a wide, crescent-shaped back panel with seamless wings for extra support. I also placed pockets on the inside that can hold any size of prosthesis in place. The result was optimal comfort and support, but I wanted to give more than that. My dream was to help women reconquer their femininity damaged by the disease. And so, as a stylish, finishing touch, I adorned the top of the cups with a beautiful play of lines, inspired by the Notre-Dame cathedral (to me, a glorious symbol of hope and grace). Et voilá, a combination of care, comfort and class. A Care Bra, created by all of us together.

 

This season, in addition to our black and ivory versions, I have designed a limited-edition Care Bra in luxurious chestnut brown with subtle gold accents. A gold lurex thread enriches the straps and is woven into the smooth fabric in a stripy pattern. Art director/illustrator Emmanuel Katsaros made a special illustration of our 3-piece collection, emphasizing a theme of ‘strength’. “The strength can be seen in the women’s hands. They represent personal strength, but also the strength created by women supporting other women in a time of need. I used a lot of pink, as a reminder to get yourself checked regularly. The reason I made the women quite glam is because I strongly believe that every woman is beautiful and feminine, also after a life-changing event like breast cancer.”

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by marlies|dekkers

All my work as a feminist designer is inspired by muses. Powerful female icons from past and present. Although women have been marginalized for centuries, archetypes of female power have always been there. Through my designs, I bring them to you. To help us shape the world of modern-day feminism.