This Breast Cancer Fashion Show Might Be the Most Powerful Runway Ever

What’s trending at New York Fashion Week? Making more than just a sartorial statement. The most powerful message so far was on the AnaOno Lingerie runway.

On Sunday, a cast of real-woman models living with varying stages of breast cancer, from pre-survivor to survivor, walked this runway. As part of the Art Hearts Fashion exhibition in New York’s Lower East Side, AnaOno partnered with breast cancer organization #Cancerland to combine fashion and activism. Models were pulled from all walks of life — they included a ballet dancer, a tattoo artist, a surgeon, and more — to underscore the sad fact that breast cancer is all around us.

Lingerie lends itself naturally to breast cancer activism. The AnaOne designs gave the models the opportunity to bare mastectomy scars, tattoos, and reconstructive surgery. The line ranged from a tulle-covered negligee to a lacy backpiece to nipple tape.

Mira Sorvino, the celebrity emcee for the night, explained that the show “shines a light on the exuberance of the women living with metastatic breast cancer.” She continued, “[The show] highlights the need for greater money and resources put into finding a cure for this insidious disease, the only kind of breast cancer that kills women.” The show itself was a fundraising event: 100 percent of all ticket sales was donated to #Cancerland.

AnaOne designer Dana Donofree is a survivor herself. She chose real-woman models as a statement that these “inspiring women” are the same as any other NYFW model. “We want to show that whether you have been diagnosed with breast cancer or have a genetic marker, have breasts or have none, have visible scarring or even tattoos in place of nipples, it doesn’t matter. You are still empowered, strong and sexy!” she said.

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