Breast-support garments for breast cancer patients.
Very often medical/orthopaedic devices do not help a patient regain their everyday life. Cancer isolates the patient, making them feel vulnerable and the market needs fashionable underwear that is different from medical/orthopaedic devices, keeping the focus on the wearer.
The Project aims at creating an innovative collection of bras for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Usage of skin care fabrics, such as Crabmodal, a vegetal antibacterial fibre that helps skin healing and is good for ultra-sensitive skin; and mineral fabrics, which transform body heat into energy reflected through the skin, stimulating microcirculation and skin tone. This aids the healing process and provides comfort during treatment, combining a design adapted for post-surgery but which is also fashionable, to foster self-confidence, femininity and intimacy.
In 2015 the mother of the designer of our project, Chiara Pasini, fell ill with breast cancer. She is a really strong woman who did not let herself be stopped by this monster in her body, she had a very specific goal: to heal and come back to life. Chiara decided to bring the idea of rebirth after a breast cancer diagnosis and treatments to the discussion of a Bachelor’s thesis in 2017, developing the very first draft of what is now a concrete project. Researching the materials to be used for the post-surgery underwear line she wanted to develop, she met Eleonora and together they started to study and purchase fabrics with innovative properties from Textilross. After a period of study and research, Chiara began to realize that she wanted to develop the project not only on a material level but also by creating a meeting point for the “after”. In this time the relationship with Textilross has been strengthened more and more and together with Eleonora has decided to carry on and develop the collection part with her and independently open an online life-changing community that’s called Feeling Nova.
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:
Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women and the second most common cancer overall. There were 17.210 new cases worldwide in 2020. Women who encounter this widespread disease very often have to deal with breast surgery and a long series of therapies (chemotherapy, radiotherapy,…). In this stressful period, full of check-up and medical examinations, women often lose their own confidence with body, self-esteem and intimacy. Speaking about the psychological impact, diagnosis of breast cancer can be devastating and can trigger several adverse reactions for the majority of women. The usual products are post-surgery bras that have some arrangements on the structure, such as iron-free or frontal opening. But those suitable structures very often don’t contemplate designs that can help women to feel again confident with their own self. Rather they are a great contribution to feel women worst. After many researches in the market, above all after many interviews with doctors and patients/ex-patients in order to understand their needs, we developed post-surgery bras with a suitable design studied with not only all the recommendations of doctors but also with features that want to help in feeling again the own beauty and relief. The challenge of our project is to create an innovative underwear collection with smart functional fabrics to support skin protection and healing in one hand and fashionable, glamorous and colorful design in the other hand. The focus is to support breast cancer’s women to rebirth and live without limits and help them to feel again the intimacy, self-confidence and femininity.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS:
Chiara and Eleonora began their journey on a practical level in this project by looking for expert pattern makers and garment makers who could support their ideas and develop precise and structured prototypes.It was not easy because unfortunately in Italy doing well made underwear is an utopia but after a lot of research and various obstacles they found the best structure and shape for the bras. Thanks to the Worth Project they had the opportunity to meet their third partner, Renate, so that they could print the colorful prints designed by Chiara on the fabrics made by Eleonora and obtain after this meeting also the much sought-after positive aesthetic image. The shapes are simple and structured with cuts and stitching, designed to support without tightening, enhancing femininity and glamor. The bra has a frontal opening to facilitate the movements, in each bra there are specific internal pockets for external prostheses and the necklines are designed to wrap the body in the most delicate points after the operation. Details and prints adorn the clean design, the colors are soft and enveloping. Transparencies and laces are not left aside, they enhance the new shapes of the body while maintaining a clean but seductive line. The choice of fabrics wants to give space to innovation and research using specific yarns for delicate, sensitive skin with regenerating and healing properties. Among these, we use a fabric composed of Crabyon, a yarn containing Chitin, a natural element with antibacterial and healing properties. Other fabrics use yarns with biominerals, known for their ability to transform the heat emitted by the body into rays reflected on the skin, making it more compact where there are microcirculation defects.
TEXTILROSS is a fabric knitter company since 1987; in the last few years they started to create fabrics with special fibers, innovative applications for their products and a customized approach to their clients. CHIARA PASINI is a Fashion Designer and Art Director with a dream, to create something to support women after breast cancer diagnosis.ONE FEELING PRINTS is a digital textile company located in Netherland printing onto natural and vegetal fabrics. Each of them brought their know-how, their experience and their items available to the project to achieve the mission. The aim is not only making something “suitable” for post-surgery, but it is also supporting women that encounter a breast cancer diagnosis with something that could help them to find again their self confidence, intimacy and femininity. Without even one of the women of that group, in these months, the project would not have had this success in the preliminary phase.
In the future, they saw the underwear collection developed with many other articles; a commercialization in Italy and Europe through e-commerce, hospitals and specialized shops. The development of new items also for activewear, homeware and beachwear for breast post-surgery targets. They imagine the future also studying other multifunctional, feminine and empowering products for people with other particular needs, such as: slips for who has a problem of incontinence – frequent during oncology treatment), slips for period, bras for maternity, and others. They need investment for the production part of the collection and they are now thinking about crowdfunding to reach the necessary amount of money.
Worth project has given us the opportunity to meet and collaborate with partners from different realities who have brought their know how into the project; it helped us to overcome the difficulties and obstacles encountered during the design, prototyping and communication phase thanks to mentoring and provided us with the appropriate skills to continue our development path of the idea.
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Textilross is a knitting company based in Italy. They are specialized in fabrics for contact with skin and for special applications, using smart fibers and developing innovative customized solutions for designers and big companies.
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One Feeling Prints is a digital textile printing company based in The Netherlands. They have a complete workflow in-house, from pre-treatment, printing to until finishings on the fabrics. One Feeling Prints only prints on natural and plant-based fabrics
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Chiara Pasini is a fashion designer, trend forecaster and illustrator based in Italy. With a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design at NABA in Milan and a Master Degree in Fashion Trends Forecasting at Polimoda in Florence, she works as fashion designer for underwear companies.
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