IF the Lady Garden Campaign hasn’t caught your eye (in spite of Cara Delevingne removing her pants for it) over the last two years, it will now. Its third collection of T-shirts has been co-designed and modelled by Naomi Campbell, Cara, Poppy and Chloe Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse and Charlotte Tilbury - brought together by the campaign’s founder, actress Mika Simmons, to raise awareness of gynaecological cancer, its symptoms and money for groundbreaking research into it.
Creating the campaign has been, for Simmons, “an incredibly healing process after losing my mum to ovarian cancer when I was very young”. She admits to being incredibly “lucky to have the support of so many fierce, inspiring women over the last two years”, but despite all the celebrity noise she has managed to drum up around Lady Garden, her priorities are clear. “The most important thing is to keep the message strong - this campaign is fun and very ‘fashion’ minded - but it’s imperative we continue to push through the key message: gynaecological cancers are still misunderstood, misdiagnosed, often diagnosed too late and then treated with archaic medication.”
For Campbell, the most important thing is to break the taboo of discussing these very serious topics. “When I was young people didn’t talk about breast cancer, it was taboo, until it affected me on a personal level when my own Mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, who is now thankfully in remission,” the supermodel told British Vogue. “Then women, many breast cancer survivors, transformed the way the world perceived that area of a woman’s body. If both men and women continue to support the conversation and this campaign, it will eventually lead to a tipping point, and one day women will be able to talk about it more freely. More women need to get checked, and just even talk about it.”
As for her part in the project, Campbell was assertive in how she wanted it to take shape. “I knew I wanted it to be brave, feminine and reflect the fierceness that lies beneath campaign,” she said. “‘I’m with her’ is the ultimate expression of women supporting women. ‘Her’ wasn’t my nickname, but it is now!”
Like Campbell, Tilbury also wanted it to be brave and happily shed her clothes for the shoot and bringing her favourite body products as armour to Greg Williams’s studio. “Greg is a genius; he made me feel completely at ease,” she says. “I always say ‘give a woman the right body make-up and she can conquer the world!’ - so obviously some magic cream, a slick of Supermodel Body and the perfect Hollywood Beauty Light Wand helped. We should never feel ashamed of our bodies, we should only ever feel body confident, strong and love ourselves, no matter what. Valuing yourself is about looking after yourself which goes back to the message at the heart of the campaign.”
“The Lady Garden campaign has started a very powerful conversation - not just between women, but with men too,” says Simmons. “Why are women still reluctant to talk about the gynaecological area of their bodies? Since launching Lady Garden, one of the most common things women share with me is that it has inspired them to be braver, talk to a friend or even better at the first signs of symptoms go to their GP and demand a check up.”
“What’s really important is that it is very difficult to make headway with these cancers until women help us - by getting checked earlier,” she continues. “This is key to improving survival rates. We have already seen this with breast cancer - as women stopped pretending their breasts didn’t exist, they learnt to check for symptoms and then go to their GP at the first signs - the medical world was able to learn how to detect early stages and treat it appropriately. What’s more, every single woman who has survived breast cancer makes it her mission to help save another by raising awareness and funds for research. I firmly believe we are going to have the same impact on gynaecological cancers with the Lady Garden Campaign.”
THIS DOCUMENT WAS TAKEN FROM VOGUE