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.”
I AM A FEMINIST.
You know I’m a self-made woman who has made it my purpose to challenge women to dare. It’s an achievement I am immensely proud of, and for that reason, I am equally proud to label myself a feminist. But looking back more than a hundred years, I’m even prouder of the progress women have made together.
FEARLESS ﬂy GIRL
Niatia (pronounce: ‘naah-tee-yah), also known by her stage name Lil Mama (28), is a fearless rapper, singer, dancer and actress from Brooklyn, New York. Her breakout hit ‘Lip Gloss’ came out in 2007, and since then she has been a celebrity judge on America’s Best Dance Crew, played Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez in VH1’s CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, and was most recently the lead actress in a movie called ‘When love kills; The Falicia Blakely story’. But it hasn’t always been a smooth ride…
GUTS & GLORY
Meet Viktoriya Isakova (41), a stunningly beautiful Russian actress who is not afraid to get down and dirty for her brave performances. Her film credits include ‘Tochka’ (2006), a movie about human trafficking and prostitution and ‘Mirrors’ (2013), in which she plays the tragic Marina Tsvetaeva, one of the greatest Russian poets of the 20th century. I talked to the winner of many (international) awards about ageing, lingerie, and the need to always stay true to yourself.
Women’s Day 2019
Happy Women’s Day! I am extra excited about this edition, because wow, what a year it’s been for feminism! This is the year that we went global; that we showed up with our money, our bodies, our time and our voices to show the world: this is OUR time!