Like many designers, Patricia Brett makes women feel sexy and beautiful. But for Brett’s customers, this feeling is more than skin deep. Her sophisticated, flattering and stylish post-mastectomy swimsuits make women feel whole again. Such as the writer of this recent email:
“I just received my swimsuit, and it's fabulous. I am a 23-year old cancer ?survivor following mastectomy, and this is the first time in years that ?I felt sexy in a bathing suit. Sexy and comfortable...I thought it was ?out of reach for me. THANK YOU!!!”
Patricia Brett is a cancer survivor. So is her sister Regina and her niece Gabe. Three of her aunts were not so lucky. And it’s for one of them, the elegant, beautiful and intelligent Veronica, that Brett named her swimwear line. The women in Brett’s family carry the BRCA1 gene, which predisposes them to breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Patricia Brett faced the difficult choice of undergoing the extremely invasive preventative surgery, which would change her body forever, or feel like she lived on borrowed time. She chose the former. This allowed her to know that neither breast nor ovarian cancer would prevent her from seeing her son’s wedding day. But it would also signal the beginning of a new mission in women’s fashion.
After seeing her sister Regina struggle to find a sexy and elegant dress for her daughter’s wedding, and hearing her 29-year-old niece complain about the matronly styles of post-mastectomy swimwear, Patricia decided that fashionable apparel shouldn’t be yet another challenge for breast cancer survivors. The architecturally trained Brett began to design her first swimsuit. “This little light bulb went off in my head and I thought, “If I can design a building, surely I can design a better swimsuit”, she says. And she did. The luxurious, fashionable and flattering Veronica Brett swimsuits are created with top quality Italian fabric and great precision. The suits have an interior pocket to conceal a breast form (also great for women who use an enhancing pad to balance their figure or to increase their cup size). They also cover most surgical scars and help to hold in tissue under the arms that sometimes gets loose after surgery or with age. “I’m a bit of a perfectionist; that’s why I was able to achieve the great fit that so many women have thanked me for,” says Brett. To further underscore her mantra “Life Never Looked Sexier”, she decided to only use models who had undergone mastectomy themselves. “I was really fortunate to find Stefanie LaRue, a Los Angeles based model and breast cancer survivor. Stefanie has been an incredible inspiration and has encouraged me to tell my story and to raise awareness about breast cancer in young women, “ she says. But – she concludes, her suits are by no means exclusive to cancer survivors, as their perfect fit and curve-enhancing design would give an ego boost to any female. Says Brett: “The best thing about the Veronica Brett swimwear is that all women can wear it; it’s just beautiful swimwear.”
Read our interview with Patricia Brett here.
Learn more about the Veronica Brett collection here.
Photos: Larsen & Talbert; James Sullivan