Just like every year since its inception in 1985, October is dedicated to spreading breast cancer awareness and raising funds for research and prevention of this deadly disease. With nonprofit, government organizations and ordinary individuals rallying behind the cause, many brands and celebrities have decided to use their clout and join in on the conversation.
Such is the case behind fashion designer Stella McCartney's latest collaboration with Alicia Keys.
McCartney, whose mother passed away from the disease in 1998, has been releasing breast cancer awareness-related campaigns for several years now with influencers such as Cara Devevingne and Kate Moss promoting them. This year, however, she partnered with Alicia Keys in a bid to "highlight the inequalities in accessing early detection programmes."
"According to statistics, there is a 42% higher chance of breast cancer mortality in African-American women in the US," a post on McCartney's website reads.
Indeed, as an article published by the American Cancer Society points out, "even though black women have historically had lower incidence rates than white women, death rates among black women have historically been higher" and "by 2012, death rates were 42% higher in black women than white women."
The low survival of African-American women who have breast cancer is partially caused by the fact they are diagnosed at later stages than any other racial/ethnic group with 58 being the median age of diagnosis compared to 62 for white women.
Through their joint campaign, McCartney and Keys want to promote regular breast cancer screenings and push for early detection.
All the funds received from selling Stella McCartney's Ophelia Whistling bra ($160) and underwear ($90) set in Poppy Pink will go towards supporting the Memorial Sloan Kettering Breast Examination Center of Harlem, as well as the Linda McCartney Center in Liverpool, UK.
According to Keys' website, the artist, who was born and raised in Harlem, "shares [a] strong belief in promoting early breast cancer detection and breaking any taboos surrounding it." She also took to Instagram to reveal her close ties to the cause:
"I've never really shared this but my mother is a breast cancer survivor. Breast cancer affects us all, and that’s why I’m joining my sis @stellamccartney in starting a conversation and encouraging every woman to go get checked."
The limited edition lingerie set will be available starting October 1st at Stella McCartney stores and online.