Stella McCartney chose Alicia Keys as the face of her 2017 Breast Cancer Awareness campaign not just because the two are friends and Keys is a celebrity, but also to target African-American women, who are the fastest-growing group being diagnosed with breast cancer. Statics also show that African-American women diagnosed with breast cancer have a 42 percent higher mortality rate than Caucasian women, which McCartney called “a hard-hitting fact.”
“[The higher mortality rate is mainly because they don’t get an opportunity to get an early diagnosis or the right kind of treatment,” said McCartney. “This really compelled me to reach out to Alicia. I asked her if she would like to reach out and speak to this community and be the face of the campaign.”
The campaign is meant to raise awareness about the disease and promote regular screenings and early detection. McCartney designed the Ophelia Whistling bra and underwear set in Poppy Pink set for the campaign. This year the campaign will support the Memorial Sloan Kettering Breast Examination Center of Harlem — in Keys’ hometown — which has screened more than 200,000 women for breast cancer and offers free, high-quality care to the local community.
“I really wanted to show my support for Stella’s campaign by wearing her Ophelia Whistling lingerie set, where a percentage of the proceeds are donated to Memorial Sloan Kettering Breast Examination Center of Harlem,” said Keys. “This is really important to me, because I grew up in Harlem and obviously New York is my town, and my mother also is a breast cancer survivor, and I don’t think I’ve ever gotten to share that story; so this is important to me.”
The cause is very close to McCartney too — her mother Linda passed away from the disease in 1998. Sales of the Ophelia Whistling set will also benefit the Linda McCartney Center in Liverpool to support its early detection programs and treatments. The limited-edition set will be available October 1 at Stella McCartney stores and online as well as at Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods, Selfridges, Net-a-porter, Harvey Nichols and Le Bon Marche, at prices ranging from $160 for the soft cup to $90 for the Bikini.
McCartney has also designed a post- double-mastectomy compression bra, called the Louise Listening bra, for which all proceeds will be donated to the Hello Beautiful Foundation, a London-based cancer charity founded by Jane Hutchison. McCartney partnered with photographer David Jay, who started The Scar Project photo series, for the No Less A Woman campaign, aimed at challenging the stigma surrounding cancer mastectomies. Jay shot a series portraits of breast cancer survivors. There’s also a post-mastectomy compression swim set. The bra is $125 and the swim set is $155.