Rising brand creates and caters to survivors

As powerful and upbeat music filled the room, 30 magnificent women, aged 20 to 50, strutted down the catwalk in a variety of loungewear, swimwear and undergarments, along with a massive amount of confidence. These athletes, musicians, educators and activists are all breast cancer survivors, set to expose breast cancer’s reality, as well as their own strength and determination in fighting through their battle. These women were from all over the country, with different diagnoses, surgeries and experiences.

Dana Donofree, founder of AnaOno, has created a company “for women with breast cancer, by women for breast cancer,” as stated on her site. Catering to the garment needs of cancer survivors, AnaOno designs pieces that both fit the aesthetic needs of the wearer, and the comfortability needed after undergoing surgery, reconstruction or other conditions that bring discomfort. 

Partnering with “#Cancerland,” a New York based non-profit dedicated to changing the conversation about breast cancer, AnaOno displayed its collection on Feb. 11 during its fashion show at Art Hearts Fashion in New York Fashion Week. 

 According to the website, 100 percent of all ticket sales went directly to   help breast cancer patients through “#Cancerland.” Fifty percent of those funds went to research, while the other 50 went to create media content that educates and changes the conversation about breast cancer.

This is the second year “#Cancerland” has participated in New York Fashion Week. The show is known for putting a spotlight on real women from all over the world who lived with breast cancer. It continues to generate authentic dialogue about the realities of the disease. The people at “#Cancerland” emphasize that these women walking, all volunteers, and those affected by breast cancer will not settle for anything other than a cure for this horrific epidemic.

Some of the women who walked in the show proudly revealed their mastectomy scars, pairing them with confident smiles. The faces and bodies of the individuals who walked down the runway were inspiring to say the least; forced to deal with something as challenging as cancer, but then come out smiling, feeling more empowered than ever. These women battled for their lives, and came out stronger than ever before. 

Designer Dana Donofree explained to AOL the opportunity to display the minimal differences between survivors; how visible scars don’t diminish the empowerment, strength and beauty inside all the women.

More so now than ever, the modeling industry is shedding what’s been projected as perfect, and transforming it to a woman who is confident and happy in their own skin. From supermodels, plus size models or breast cancer survivors, they all have one thing in common; the confidence to walk down a runway. It’s taken a while to get to this point, but look how far the industry has come. With events and shows like this one, society is starting to accept themselves for who they are, rather compare themselves to others.