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Anna Bonny is a project that aims to help evolve how society views and talks about Breast Cancer, femininity and beauty.

Born out of personal necessity our first approximation is the mastectomy patch. It is a simple garment which aims to help mastectomized women come to peace with their new body image, gain confidence and normalise living with one breast. The patch is an adornment, a celebration of acceptance, a new option post-mastectomy. It is damn sexy. Dedicated to all singular women.

#nolessawoman

PART ONE (of four)

What's in a Name

My name is Noelia and you may think of me as a pirate1. I didn’t seek out the role but in recovering from a radical mastectomy in 2015 I had a moment in front of the mirror that changed the way I saw myself. I chose not to reconstruct and so was left with the dilemma of how to feel good with only one breast, a question every bit as hard as it sounds and yet the solution, was in the end, a simple one. I became a pirate when I slashed a beautiful bra in half and slung the remains across my scar like an eye patch2. It was a startling moment, I realised that I felt liberated, not only I, but also my partner was suddenly seduced. It may have been the thrill of my body confidence returning or perhaps the spark of sexiness that came from the rebel tradition of eye patches suddenly being transmitted by a new, strange garment. For me, in that moment, I knew I had uncovered a new world or perhaps more accurately recovered a lost one. No more awkward pauses or wistful glances but instead a gleeful kind of confidence that I thought had been lost forever.

I like sex, I like being naked, I know there is beauty in scars. I know that beauty itself comes from within but everyone enjoys a little glamour. I still wanted lingerie that speaks of fun and flirtation and yes a little bit of lust and indulgence too and if you can combine that with beauty and comfort, that is its own small treasure. Anna Bonny is a breast patch, it is singular (in every sense) lingerie, not meant to be hidden but to be exposed with pleasure and pride.

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 — Anna Bonny
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 — Anna Bonny

PART TWO (of four)

A small treasure from us to you

Our first batch is the fruit of many hundreds of hours of letting our imaginations roam free. There was no blueprint to follow so we drew and drew, and cut and folded and tried and tested and tried again. From the outset when we realised that we had inadvertently copied a pirate’s patch, we strove to keep to that simplicity and minimal approach. A patch that covers but also underlines the breast area. However, we also wanted to create pieces that could be worn by women with large(r) scars or that are undergoing phased reconstruction. These pieces needed to cover more of the chest. All of you also know the initial difficulty to pull anything over your head, so easy to wear, was also a priority.

Not least because the scar area is so sensitive we only use the best available fabric. Pure British silk, because nothing beats silk’s skin healing properties. Organic cotton because not doing so would be irresponsible. Wonderfully soft Loro Piana Cashmere. Our exquisite straps are by Mokuba because Anna Bonnys are made to look gorgeous but also to last. (Mokuba is OEKO TEX 100 certified). We believe that the healing powers of indulgence should never be underestimated. We were incredibly fortunate to work with hugely talented friends as we brought Anna Bonny to life. Tatiana, Jessica and the team at Bendita Gloria all took the initial idea and added magic to it. The artistry of Richard elevated an improvised, hybrid prototype to something truly unique and beautiful.

So this is our first batch. It is, we believe, the first of its kind. We hope that you will wear it, enjoy it, and share with us how we can make it better. Anna Bonnys are entirely made by hand in Barcelona, Spain. We hope you appreciate that each patch is as flawless as a handmade garment can be, we know that you will feel the love and hope and joy that went into every stitch along the way.

Hopefully the DIY, free pattern download will help and inspire many of you to make your own patch.

And yes, 10% of sales will go to a seriously good cause. We are new kids on the block and are still looking for the right charity to partner with (like Anna Bonny it should not be restricted to a geography). If you do know any charity or company that has affected women’s best interest at heart and could be interested to collaborate please let us know hey@annabonny.com.

PART THREE (of four)

The conceptual approach

Some references as kind of a permanent mood:

“Your Body is a Battleground”, Barbara Kruger, 1973. 3

“Reading two books”, William Wegman, 1971. 4

Scene from “A boy named Charlie Brown”, Charles M. Schulz, 1969. 5

Woody Guthrie’s guitar labeled “This machine kills fascists”, ca. 1943. 6

English translation of Luc Moullet’s “Une aventure de Billy the Kid”, 1971. 7

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 — Anna Bonny
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 — Anna Bonny

PART FOUR (of four)

Acknowledgement

No one becomes a pirate without a loyal crew behind them, my crew have taken me through the roughest of seas, inspired me, fought for me, fought with me, shown me that there is bravery and beauty and ingenuity to be found in the most unlikely places. I will be forever grateful to them.

I thank Dr. Fabienne Liebens and her team at ISALA in Brussels to earn my trust in every way and open my eyes to every possibility. Dr. Juanjo Fuster to be my friend and guardian. Jose Manuel, Cuni and Tatiana to be so close. Zoe&Jose, Claire, Sian, Aziza, Miki Miki, Enric and Santy for their generosity.

I thank my fabulous in laws to make me feel so loved.

Mum, dad, brothers –and the sisters they brought to me- for never failing to amaze me. My nephews to bring the magic.

My pure and true love Matthias, for waiting for me and finding me. For his determination and for being so beautifully fascinated by women.

And, my son Leon, for being the main reason for my existence.