I’ve got some exciting news to share! “Everyday Runway” stories will be available in the cW archives anytime you’re seeking some great fashion finds. Starting this month, we’re giving this column a new twist. “A Common Thread,” playing on the intersection of fashion and cancer, will feature innovative fashion brands that are both stylish and functional, and I’m looking forward to introducing you to the designers behind the scenes.
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’m featuring AnaOno’s new collaboration with celebrity stylist Lori Goldstein and her niece, Alison. This collection of loungewear and intimates pays homage to Lori’s late sister, Marla, who had triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
“I love hearing stories about Marla, Alison’s mom and Lori’s sister, and how she never took a day off from looking and feeling fabulous, even during her chemo treatments,” says Dana Donofree, founder of AnaOno. “Our prints were inspired by this vibrancy for life, even in the darkest moments.” The collaborative collection features bright colors, fun prints and funky shoes — clothes as bright and sunny as Marla was while undergoing treatment.
“We are all affected by a breast cancer diagnosis differently, and when I learned of Lori’s collection LOGO, and how she wanted to collaborate to bring attention to triple-negative breast cancer in honor of her sister, Marla, I knew she would be a great partner both in design and in community,” Donofree says, noting that bridging the gap between fashion and purpose is something that is meaningful to both designers.
TNBC is one of the more aggressive forms of breast cancer and is much more difficult to treat. Ten percent of the net proceeds from this limited-edition collaboration will be donated to the TNBC Foundation to fund research. The Foundation’s mantra is #NoOneFightsAlone. I know that I personally couldn’t have gotten through my cancer experience without my daughters, friends, family and the Foundation.
If you told me almost 10 years ago, when I was diagnosed with TNBC, that I’d be with my beautiful daughters on the set of a photo shoot, modeling for this collection, I would have said you were crazy.
The best part? I was joined by some of the most incredible TNBC friends that a girl could ask for, including patient advocate Vaishalee Howey; @tnbc_thrivers founder Kelly Thomas; TOUCH The Black Breast Cancer Alliance founder Ricki Fairley; and Ricki’s daughter, Hayley Brown.
I had the opportunity to speak with each of them about their experience on set, their passion for breast cancer advocacy, and, of course, fashion!
“I was 33 years old when I was diagnosed with stage IIIc triple-negative breast cancer. It was such an honor to join forces with Dana of AnaOno while also supporting the TNBC Foundation with all that they do! [I], like so many others, never knew there were different forms of breast cancer, and I certainly didn’t know anything about TNBC until I was diagnosed with it. Fashion makes us feel beautiful, and especially during and after breast cancer, we all deserve to feel our own beautiful selves. Our bodies are amazing! And this collection helps showcase exactly that!”
— Kelly Thomas, @tnbc_thrivers
“I was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, stage IIIb, at the age of 32. I have no family history of cancer of any kind, so it was a complete shock. To me, this campaign highlights the beauty in the ugly that is cancer. It symbolizes community by bringing together women who, despite it all, continue to thrive and provide support to each other. It symbolizes friendship because we are never alone in our fight. I think this collaboration will shed light on the fact that there are many different types of breast cancers and that they all have varying prognoses.”
— Vaishalee Howey, patient advocate
“I was diagnosed with TNBC at stage IIIA. I had a double mastectomy, six rounds of aggressive chemo and six weeks of radiation. I was told I was OK. Almost exactly a year to the date of my diagnosis, my doctor said, ‘Ricki you are now metastatic. Get your affairs in order; you have two years to live.’ I found the TNBC Foundation. I called them, [and] executive director Hayley Dinerman found me a doctor in Atlanta where I lived, one of about five docs in the country that were researching TNBC. She put me on two drugs that were experimental for TNBC, and I am still here 11 years later. I hope this collaboration will bring awareness of TNBC and action to eradicate it.”
— Ricki Fairley, founder of TOUCH The Black Breast Cancer Alliance
“Seeing my mom undergo breast cancer was both devastating yet incredibly empowering. Although it was hard to watch her suffer from what felt like endless chemotherapy, she also pushed through like a champ, showing me her true strength. I chose to participate in this campaign with her because, from what I understand, it is very hard to go through the physical changes from breast cancer, and survivors deserve to feel comfortable in their own clothes and in their own skin. This campaign represented that for me.”
— Hayley Brown, Ricki Fairley’s daughter