For myriad women (and their families) affected by breast cancer annually, October is a month of awareness and fortitude; a time to acknowledge how such a deadly disease, even in this modern age, is still a cause for concern that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Designer Tamara Mellon understands this plight all too well, which is why she is utilizing her brand’s visibility and resources to support the Dubin Breast Center at Mount Sinai in New York City.
“Fashion brands have an important platform that they can reach people with,” she said through email. “I respect any brand doing anything for breast cancer awareness or other issues and causes, but I specifically didn’t want to design a pink shoe for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I believe women are more interested in doing rather than showing, so I felt that donating 100 percent of the proceeds from any purchase they made on October 20th, National Mammography Day, was a powerful way to take action.”
Indeed, many fashion firms over the years have made specially designed pieces—usually in pink, as Mellon mentioned—to bring attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The products usually have a sense of novelty to them, and are often conspicuous in their support for what is undoubtedly a just cause. For Mellon, however, showing one’s commitment doesn’t have to be so cutsey and blatant. After seeing the affects that the illness had on her grandmother, who was left with a giant scar after her mastectomy, Mellon didn’t feel it necessary to walk the path most traveled. Rather, she wants women who have gone through this ordeal to recognize that their femininity has in no way diminished.
“If you’ve seen the visuals that I create for my brand, you know that sexuality is a big part of my messaging,” she said. “Breast cancer is a disease that can strip that power from women, and I hope that today’s partnership with the Dubin Breast Center will help to give a bit of that power back to women.”
From eye-catching leopard print boots to bold red gladiator flats to gold-studded stilettos, Mellon’s complete line certainly brings sexy back. And for National Mammography Day, all the proceeds from each purchase on her website will go toward an organization that helps countless patients battling breast cancer, regardless of their insurance status. Essentially, it’s an initiative that supports women both financially and, to some degree, psychologically. As she said:
“I always say that I’m building a company that’s for women, by women, so I wanted to do something for Breast Cancer Awareness month that immediately drove action and community.”