An Edinburgh artist who is one of three sisters to battle breast cancer has created a line of underwear for women affected by the illness.
Caroline Kennedy Alexander’s LoveRose range is exclusively for women who have been through surgery, and aims to help them feel more comfortable.
Caroline was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, and again in 2015, leading to a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery.
She lost her sister Rose to the same illness in 2004. Another sister, Mary, is currently in recovery from breast cancer.
“Everybody talks about the physical scars, but the emotional and the psychological scars are actually harder to heal, because you do lose your confidence and your femininity, because you’ve lost a bit of yourself,” she told STV News.
“So by having the choice of lingerie, well then at least you know you haven’t been forgotten.”
Before she developed the designs, Caroline carried out research with others who had been through similar treatment to find out if other women felt the same.
Christina Pacitti is among those who are already feeling the benefits of the lingerie.
In her late 20s, she discovered she had the BRACA 1 gene mutation, which put her at higher risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
She went through preventative surgery, including a double mastectomy and reconstruction.
She said: “I went to get fitted after ops and I left in tears because they didn’t understand that my mastectomy wasn’t a boob job, and that actually I couldn’t feel certain bits and they didn’t fit into normal shaped bras.”
The LoveRose designs are made with silks and recycled lace, and are designed to be comfortable, practical and stylish.
While the initial range focuses on mix and match underwear and robes, there are hopes to expand it to include yoga, sleep and swimwear.
After developing the product with support with Business Gateway, Caroline will launch a crowdfunder to manufacture the items in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
A percentage of profits from sales will go to charities CoppaFeel and Maggie’s.
Naming the company LoveRose after her late sister is bittersweet, but Caroline hopes it will provide a lasting legacy of support for others who are diagnosed with breast cancer.