AnaOno Intimates Line Catering To A Demographic Of Women Forgotten By Larger Brands

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Remember back in 2013 when Victoria’s Secret, the largest lingerie brand on the market, said they would create a line of mastectomy bras after a popular Change.org campaign showcased the need for such an item? That was in February, but a couple of months later the brand retracted the move saying creating a mastectomy bra was too complicated (citing “science” as the reason) and they are better suited to donating money to cancer research instead.

It was a huge disappointment to say the least, especially when they control 34% of the lingerie market, far more than any other brand, and they could’ve been the leaders in catering to a demographic of women largely forgotten by intimate brands.

According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 232,300 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year and over 40,000 people will die from the disease. That is a huge number of breast cancer survivors who then have to readjust one of the most basic functions in life – dressing themselves.

Having a mastectomy after breast cancer can be a traumatic and is a major change in a woman’s appearance. You’d think mastectomy bras would be common place in clothing and lingerie stories, unfortunately they are not.

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Which is why AnaOno Intimates stands out from the rest. They are catered specifically to breast cancer survivors and women who have undergone mastectomies. The line was created by Dana Donofree, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 28. She underwent a mastectomy and then reconstructive surgery. After realizing how her life was going to change going forward, she decided to put her Art & Design studies to good use and created a line of bras for women like her.

The brand was launched in 2014 but is rolling out heavily this year. It was her personal journey and recognizing how many other women feel the same way she does that led her to create AnaOno Intimates.

“I felt a loss of identity and a loss of my ‘sexy’ self, and every day was a struggle, not only physically, but emotionally … Finding a bra that resembles what we wore before cancer changes everything, from attitude to confidence to the clothes we wear,” she told .Mic in an interview.

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The majority of places that do sell special mastectomy bras are often medical centers, and the bras can be expensive. Dana told .Mic that the existing mastectomy bras offer a special pocket for survivors who end up getting implants, but the problem is the type of implants most women get after having breast cancer don’t necessarily fit the bras that are available on the market.

The AnaOno bras don’t have the pockets, and don’t have extra room for nipples as many mastectomy surgeries remove these. The design is much better suited to women who have had reconstructive surgery or who choose not to, which Dana believes helps the women who wear them feel feminine and strong again.

They shot a campaign titled ‘Never Alone’ which featured a handful of models who have all had breast cancer, some with reconstructive surgery and some without.

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“It’s a symbol of the fight and the strength these women endured and found during their cancer treatment and as they head back into their lives after cancer,” she said.

It’s really awesome to see a woman like Dana rise up and use her personal experience to empower others just like her. AnaOno Intimates represents more than just a unique line of bras that cater to the breast cancer survivor, it is indicative of what is possible when you are faced with an uphill battle but refuse to give up.

Find out more about the brand and Dana’s mission in the video below:


 

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