Breast most cancers survivor Marks designed the Uno assortment after her personal single mastectomy when she discovered herself struggling to search out bras that supplied help to 1 breast with out requiring prosthetics.
“When you’ve gotten a mastectomy, you come residence and immediately your entire underwear drawer is out of date – which is fairly miserable,” stated the architect, who’s the founding father of London-based workplace Citizens Design Bureau.
“I reduce quite a lot of bras in half and began including flat straps on the aspect, however then, as an architect, I felt compelled to start out sketching,” she advised Dezeen.
Made to order in small batches to get rid of pointless waste, the Uno assortment options asymmetrical bras and swimwear in a wide range of colors that had been designed to not compromise consolation or look.
Each bit encompasses a single contoured cup and strap for both left or proper breasts, supported by a large band of material that’s flat on one aspect and wraps across the chest.
The bras’ thinner straps are adjustable whereas the bikini prime could be tied into an ornamental bow on the again.
When designing the gathering, Marks defined that one of many fundamental challenges was stopping the asymmetry from inflicting the bra to twist or sag on the physique whereas avoiding tight elastic on the band that would irritate scar tissue and tender pores and skin following radiotherapy.
Marks and her group trialled prototypes on a variety of ladies “of various sizes and shapes” – a lot of whom are in lively therapy – to search out the perfect resolution.
“The truth that there are not any uneven mannequins was additionally an impediment,” acknowledged the architect.
The underwear is made out of a mix of stretch satin and Lenzing modal – a fabric created from sawdust as a by-product of the European timber business.
For the swimwear, the group selected Econyl, which is a material made from reconstituted ocean plastics.
“I used to be decided that Uno mustn’t develop into a part of a quick vogue, disposable, high-waste tradition that’s actually harmful,” stated Marks.
“Lenzing modal can also be sumptuously delicate on the pores and skin,” she added.
Accessibility and affordability had been additionally necessary priorities for Marks, who plans to publish open-source, simplified variations of a few of the garment patterns.
“There’s a rising motion of ladies wanting [asymmetrical bras] and doing it themselves in frustration at not having the ability to discover something,” stated the architect.
Whereas Marks highlighted that ladies with most cancers have numerous completely different experiences and would possibly understandably select to bear post-surgery breast reconstruction, 69 per cent of ladies who’ve mastectomies resolve to stay flat after breast elimination and deserve applicable underwear, in keeping with the architect.
“After my surgical procedure, I felt actual anxiousness and hated that I felt compelled to put on these prosthetics, which felt to me like a form of cartoonish costume I needed to placed on so as to really feel like an actual lady,” she stated.
“I’ve two younger sons, and I felt actually strongly that I did not need them to see me feeling inhibited by my physique and my scars. I needed to point out my children that it is okay to look a bit completely different and that it would not change who I’m.”
Marks designed the Uno logo with a hyphen in entrance of the letter U, which is topped with an illustrative dot to symbolise a breast.
“I noticed the graphic alternatives of utilizing the U and a hyphen in entrance of the phrase, to recommend a breast and a scar as a motif,” she defined.
“So, it was a bit little bit of graphic enjoyable, with a emblem that I’ve painted many occasions, once more playfully reflecting all of the completely different sizes and shapes of breasts.”
“Uno was about being confidently uneven, designing one thing that appears like a extremely lovely factor to put on in its personal proper – which simply occurs to be uneven and have just one cup,” mirrored Marks.
“It’s as much as ladies themselves to resolve what makes them really feel female or not – no person else. If in case you have confidence in who you might be, you will discover a approach for it to shine by.”
“After all, it is simple to say and it took me some time to get there – however I stared at myself within the mirror and actually felt that I needed to be taught to love myself,” continued the architect.
“My expertise is that many individuals do not even discover, however after they do, they settle for it, and why should not they? Why ought to we really feel ashamed or attempt to cover our our bodies after we have now had most cancers, as if the one technique to be female is to be a ‘regular lady’?
“We have to shift into the twenty first century and recognise that the range of our our bodies is the norm. The extra we see it, the extra we could be it.”
Designer Lisa Marks beforehand made Algorithmic Lace, a bra for individuals who have had mastectomies, which options no underwire and may create the phantasm of symmetry and curves. Sportswear model Adidas not too long ago collaborated with designer Stella McCartney to create a sports bra that allows its wearers to breastfeed more easily.
The pictures is by Tara Darby.
Designer: Katy Marks
Fashions: Anna Versteeg, Claudia Manchanda, Gemma Fish and Jenny Skinner