This New York Fashion Week has been noticeably politically tinged. But it’s not just political statements that are being made on the runways. On February 9, the American Heart Association presented its Go Red For Women™ Dress Collection, spotlighting the issue of heart disease via a runway populated by cardiovascular disease survivors and celebs alike. On February 12, lingerie and loungewear label AnaOno — designed for breast cancer survivors, by a breast cancer survivor — showcased the beauty, strength and determination of its clientele whilst debuting its latest collection.
The brand’s Spring 2017 presentation, hosted by Academy Award-winning actress and breast cancer advocate Mira Sorvino, produced in partnership with #Cancerland, featured 16 real women varying in age, body type and ethnicity. The common thread? All of AnaOno’s models had been diagnosed with varying stages of breast cancer. Their individual scars and reconstruction choices were visible to onlookers. Each woman’s turn on the runway showcased her bravery, her vulnerability, her individuality and the reality of her unpredictable disease.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to show that these inspiring women walking our runway are no different than any other woman walking New York Fashion Week, or sitting in the audience or even riding the subway or walking into your neighborhood coffee shop,” affirmed Dana Donofree, AnaOno designer and founder. “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!”
The show, while upbeat, took aim at a very real issue. At present, the median survival for metastatic breast cancer is just three years, meaning that half of the people diagnosed with stage four breast cancer won’t live past that brief sentence. In the words of Sorvino, the AnaOno x #Cancerland runway “shines a light on the exuberance of the women living with Metastatic Breast Cancer and 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, 40,000 a year.” She (and theFashionSpot) “applaud #Cancerland and Ana Ono intimates for making this celebratory happening that combines fashion and activism.”
Click through the slideshow below to take in the beautiful, inspiring collection.
All Images: Arun Nevader/Getty Images for Art Hearts Fashion