American Marketer


Stella McCartney turns taboo into comforting message for breast cancer survivors

September 25, 2015

Cara Delevingne for Stella McCartney's Alina Play bra Cara Delevingne for Stella McCartney's Alina Playing bra


Kering-owned fashion label Stella McCartney has designed a new lingerie line supporting survivors of breast cancer.

Debuting right before Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins on Oct. 1, a portion of the proceeds from a cheery pink lace bra will benefit the Linda McCartney Center in the United Kingdom and the National Breast Cancer Foundation in the United States and Australia. Breast cancer strikes close to home for designer Ms. McCartney, whose mother, Linda, passed away from the disease in 1998.

In loving memory
Charitable efforts that have a personal link to the brand’s founder or head designer often resonate more with consumers also going through similar hardships, thus making participation in a charity’s cause more authentic.

Shared by Stella McCartney via Instagram, the campaign imagery for the Alina Playing bra line features British model Cara Delevingne. In the image Ms. Delevingne wears a contour plunge bra in pink while holding her hands in the shape of a heart over her chest. The Alina Playing bra is priced at $110.

While the Aline Playing line is for a charitable cause, Stella McCartney also designed a bra made specifically to comfort women who have undergone mastectomies. The Louise Listening bra, named after the late Ms. McCartney’s middle name, includes a front zipper closure for comfort.

With floral lace detailing, the Louise Listening bra keeps the wearer’s comfort top of mind with a wide underband and deep sides offering support and compression for post-surgery recovery periods. The bra will retail for $125.

In a statement, Ms. McCartney said, “We wanted to bring something feminine and beautiful into a bra that is taboo. There are so many different emotions attached to the tragic realities of having had a double mastectomy, many cultures are unaccepting and terrible things happen to women both physically and emotionally. And we just wanted to make something that allows women undergoing this to have something to be proud of, something with no shame attached.

Stella.breast cancer bra.

Stella McCartney's Louise Listening bra for mastectomy patients

“We wanted women to know that you can still be feminine, have your sensuality, have all of the things that are attached to being a woman and that part of your body can still feel beautiful on the outside, as well as the inside,” she said.

While undergoing cancer treatment women often struggle with self-esteem issues due to side effects from chemo and radiation therapy. Programs have been developed to help women feel better about their appearances despite their illnesses as part of the healing process.

For example, department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue is continuing its dedication to supporting women with cancer by hosting its Look Good Feel Better event across the United States.

Look Good Feel Better aims to improve the lives of women undergoing chemotherapy and other cancer treatments by offering free makeup consultations and beauty sessions that are specifically targeted to managing appearance-related side effects of cancer. With Saks hosting the event and other brands donating professional services and products, the event is popular among women in every state (see story).