Last week was an exciting and emotional week to launch CRISSCROSS Intimates, my new line of luxury breast cancer post-op undergarments for women and men. It marked the birthday anniversary of my dear Aunt Nina (Annina T. Vulpetti), who died of stage IV malignant breast cancer about 20 years ago and I dedicate my first design in memory of her. The Nina Bra is a Post-Surgical Undergarment - intended for lumpectomy, mastectomy and other post breast surgeries. Since this first prototype design was introduced back in October 2014 during breast cancer awareness month, we market tested with Survivors and Surgeons alike to ensure it was the right design and fit for most breast cancer patients.
Then, we began the process of designing the full line of complimentary undergarments to enhance the entire CRISSCROSS collection with other Bras, Panties, Men's Vests and Products of Inspiration. You see, as a breast cancer survivor, all I wanted to do was to 'feel confident, and look beautiful' day one leaving the OR room and every day thereafter. Well, that wasn't the case for me, surgery after surgery. I just felt awful! I wore ugly utilitarian bras, white with uncomfortable zippers and Velcro that I said would wake the neighbors!
Since becoming a fashion designer, I took my media and technology expertise and passion for fashion, and put it all into PLAY! I researched contemporary designs, fibers and emerging textiles, attending leading trade shows and seminars, networked with industry top execs, brand experts, and learned from those that had influence in the marketplace. I created my own twist and vision to create CRISSCROSS designs that cross-over in the front and offer something very special for both women AND men. Yes, and men should not be forgotten because they get breast cancer too!
So as I thought about each phase and stage of breast cancer that people go thru post-op, and documented my journey in My Pain Woke Me Up: BLISS!, I created a colorful world for advanced healing. Solutions that are rich with bold colors to inspire the best for breast health and wellness. I implemented revolutionary designs that no other bras use today integrating magnets, providing a form of energy when close to the body; low profile Velcro that doesn't wake the neighbors anymore with a criss-cross, easy, one-piece front closure design; and so much more. No more over-head or uncomfortable on/off garments.
I used emerging textiles that provide bonded compression fabrics and some garments offer infrared technology for advanced healing when close to the body. I researched contemporary trims and sourced at fashionable outlets to ensure a luxury brand, ultimately providing an overall chic garment no matter what breast size you may be.
So whether a Size 32B or 42EE, as example, we've got you covered. If your size is not available on our style list, we are happy to custom your order to "breast" fit women and "chest" fit men. That's right, no stone unturned. That's what I envisioned for survivors.
So as we celebrate the anniversary of Nina's birthday with the introduction of "The Nina Bra", I know her shining light will be upon ALL survivors wearing it. The Nina Bra is the first bra in the collection and there's more - The Grace Bra, a plus size bra, The Christina Bra, a prosthesis pocket bra, Venus Briefs, Violet thongs, Men's vests, Medical pouches, Leggings, and many products of inspiration because Nina was my inspiration after all!
My motto has been since I started this venture: Don't let cancer the BREAST of you!
All the breast, Jean