The story behind my care bra for breast cancer survivors
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 a mysterious, deep blue fabric and added silver lurex accents for a subtle sparkle. As an ode to Queen of Crime Agatha Christie, I placed a silver-metal talisman, shaped like a miniature notebook and reading glasses, at the center of your décolleté. 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.”
Podcast by the pool
I LOVE a good podcast. When done well, it is both informative and relaxing. On top of that, the intimate quality of it can make me me feel like I am having a really good talk with a very clever friend.
Cool moves for a hot bod
Did you know that my bikinis and bathing suits are burpee proof? Thanks to their perfect fit and quick-dry material, you can turn the pool and the beach into your gym!
Behind the scenes: hairstylist Bianca van Zwieten
Meet Bianca van Zwieten: professional hairstylist and total boss babe. She has over 20 years of experience in hairdressing, and 10 years of experience as an International Session Stylist in fashion. During these years she has won the most prestigious hairdressing award in the Netherlands, The Hairdresser of the Year Award, at the Coiffure Awards gala. She also won the third prize internationally in the Global AIPP awards held in London. Bianca’s work can be seen in magazines such as Elle, Vogue, Marie Claire and Grazia, and… on the runway of my FW20 fashion show!
4 ways to wear your pareo
Yes, a pareo is an excellent beach cover up. But did you know it can be so much more?