There’s quite a conversation taking place in the lingerie world right now – about dispelling old notions of sexy, as defined by men’s fantasies and limited to certain body shapes, and embracing all body types to reflect what’s real. Not so dissimilar from the #metoo movement, this dialogue roots itself in diversity and respect for women, claiming confidence as the new sexy.
How interesting, then, to be sharing a Journal entry on Everviolet’s brand values at the same time, as one of our primary reasons for being is due to the fact that one of these lingerie companies refused to create bras for women who’ve had breast cancer. In 2013 Allan Maiden, the 28-year-old daughter of a breast cancer survivor, gathered 120,000 signatures and requested that Victoria's Secret create a line of mastectomy bras. The company responded by saying that they would rather donate to breast cancer research than taking on the challenge of designing bras for post-operative women.
I was a year out from my double mastectomy at the time and struggling to find undergarments that were both attractive and fit my changed body. After trying on 200 bras (literally) in a six-month period, I asked my community of breast cancer women (Bay Area Young Survivors) about their experiences. I could never have imagined the overwhelming response I received by not just newbies like myself but survivors who were decades out of surgery. No one was satisfied. It was at that moment when I vowed to solve the problem for us and the 1 in 8 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of their lifetimes.
As I delved into the market and psychographic research, I found, similar to the conversation taking place today, that very few companies were actually designing lingerie for real women. But it wasn’t just the appeal to men or exclusive sizing I noticed – none were addressing the body changes we all eventually go through due to illness, aging, accidents or any other transformations. And the impact was profound. So long as a woman in treatment or recovery could not go into the world free of pain or discomfort, psychologically-speaking, she was a patient, not a person.
Everviolet launched to the public in October with the promise to nurture changes in a woman’s body following treatment from breast cancer, and help her renew a sense of self and femininity. The collection offers garments for all stages of healing from immediately after surgery through recovery, and beyond. At the heart of our brand is a commitment to honor all body changes. One can say that plus-sized women have been excluded from the mainstream lingerie market (and it’s true), but so have those affected by breast cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation (for all cancers), gender transitions, and numerous other surgeries and injuries.
Everviolet stands for health in a holistic sense of the word, and these values shine through in our fabrics, process, and packaging. We have personal relationships with the people in every stage of development and production, and we serve to empower our community by offering education and wellness resources. We believe in investing a little more for high-quality garments that will last. And we are proud to be among other important change-makers who are working to make the world a better place.
Everviolet is rooted in the belief that true beauty resides on the inside, and no matter what changes we’ve endured and warriored through, we feel best and most confident as women when that beautiful light shines outward.
This is what Everviolet stands for.
Keira Kotler, Founder