Why CRISSCROSS? Feel Confident, Look Beautiful or Handsome!
While there are various undergarments on the market today named to support Mastectomy patients, what I found over the years thru my research, blogging and talking with other survivors was that many were called that but did not offer sufficient features to support the needs of Breast Cancer Survivors at large. CRISSCROSS™ is the brand name for the collection of Intimate Apparel designed and founded by Jean Criss, Breast Cancer Survivor and former Susan G. Komen Board of Trustee.
Drawing upon my vast experience in media and technology, I strategized about ease of use, longevity and transitional undergarments to wear during post-recovery, healing factors that would aid in the process. In less than three years, I am proud to introduce this luxurious apparel line of undergarments for women and men, about 30 pieces in all, over 150 SKUs, patents published, with exciting new designs planned.
CRISSCROSS Intimates captures the elements that all phases of Breast Cancer Survivors may need from single to bi-lateral lumpectomy, mastectomy, augmentation and reconstructive surgeries for women or men, or other post-surgical breast procedures such as Gynecomastia surgery for men. The luxurious collection offers style and comfort and uses advanced technology and the latest in light-weight and compression fabrics - washable, wicking, and energizing. My ultimate goal is to make you Feel Confident and Look Beautiful (or Handsome) the very first moment you wake up from the OR room. I thought about the entire Intimate Experience a Survivor goes thru from Day 1 and beyond past day180+, when you are well on your way healing during post-recovery. No one should ever know you had breast cancer or you are recovering from surgery wearing these fabulous undergarments, whether in the workplace or at home when recovering. CRISSCROSS Intimates is your BREAST kept secret!
CRISSCROSS - NO MATTER WHAT YOUR DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT
If a Woman has experienced single or bi-lateral lumpectomy, mastectomy or has had any form of augmentation or reconstructive surgery, the 'Nina’ Bra will provide the proper compression post-surgically and the ‘Grace’ Bra is for Plus size women. Custom sizes are available too. The ‘Christina’ Bra will hold prostheses on either side and will offer similar luxury features as the ‘Nina’ Bra. Other intimate apparel will be introduced later this year for women. Feel Confident, Look Beautiful!
For Women who need compression, easy one-piece designs provide easy-access using your arms, convenient removable snap loops to hold your medical tubes and wound drains just when you need them the most during recovery when we know they can be more uncomfortable pulling at your sides than the breast incisions from surgery itself. Of course, women want high comfort, style, a variety of colors, and designs to choose from to support their post-surgical needs. The "Nina" bra, named after my dear Aunt who died tragically of Stage IV BC, is designed as a post-surgical compression bra for lumpectomy or mastectomy patients. Nina meant so much to me, Mom and my family. The second bra is the Grace bra for Plus Size women and styled the same as the Nina Bra, and custom sizes are available if needed. The third, is a Prosthesis bra named after my dear friend and business colleague "Christina". During our days of our recoveries, we spent many wonderful days traveling, socializing and writing our books by the poolside in NYC, LA and Miami. We attended black-tie Gala events together and gave back to our favorite charities too. After enduring cancer, we all want to live life to the fullest and that’s all a survivor wants to achieve because you just never know when your cancer may return. I have very fond memories of Christina's last days with us and am proud to introduce this Prosthesis Bra in memory of her. A pocket bra designed especially for single or bi-lateral lumpectomy or mastectomy patients in need of prostheses implants -- sexy, intimate and comfortable. As a survivor who had started with bi-lateral lumpectomy and transitioned to bi-lateral mastectomy, I knew what survivors needed in each of these garments and appreciated the survivor feedback from my sister survivors during the design process.
If a Man has experienced any form of treatment surgery as noted above, the ‘Joe’ Vest or ‘Arrow’ Vest offers compression post-surgically, trendy and discrete for the man on the go! Men too can Feel Confident, Look Handsome in their CRISSCROSS product.
For Men, I found most physicians often rely on ace-bandage & gauze wrap post-surgery. Most garments do not offer compression, support for drains, high comfort, style, and the ability to return to an active lifestyle. So I designed two garments to fit the need for Men. The first is called the "Joe" Vest after Uncle Joe, who died of Stage IV malignant cancer. Sometimes tragedies can bring out your inspiration, those that affect you personally and those are very close to you and your family. My father always taught me to ‘enjoy life to its fullest and don't put off tomorrow what you can do today’. I think about that each and every day. My first husband Al used to tell me 'to stop and smell the roses.' I try to remember these phrases each day and in fact, remind myself by buying fresh flowers whenever I get the chance! The Joe Vest will have shoulder straps, sold in Nude and the second vest, named the Arrow Vest is strapless, sold in Black. Custom sizes are available.
Venus Briefs and Violet Thongs are available in bright bold colors to mix and match your CRISSCROSS ensembles. Pouches are available to wear your wound drain either attached with your Nina bra, Grace bra, or Men's Vests or worn separately. Remove the detachable snap loops found on the Bra or Vest, or simply don't use them, and use the Pouch instead. Simply place the would drain directly inside each Pouch and wear it adhered at the inside of your shirt, top, jean’s, briefs, leggings or slacks. Remove the Pouch to deplete or empty the drain fluid as needed. Additional Pouches are available for purchase in black or nude and come with one extra strip of Velcro.
Leggings and scarves are also available to complement your Bra ensembles made with soft fabulous fabrics too. You will feel so comfortable in this entire collection and look so stylish! A breast cancer Survivor never felt so good. . . Celebrate life and keep the legacy alive with the CRISSCROSS brand.
WHERE DID THE BRAND NAME CRISSCROSS™ COME FROM
I was inspired to document my journey and wrote my first book entitled My Pain Woke Me Up - BLISS!, a survivor's tale about breast cancer, love, life and the pursuit of happiness. The story is based on my personal experience as a survivor as a young widow, the challenges of a failing marriage, life a single mother with two young children, diagnosis with breast cancer, professional executive in the corporate world, and the painful struggle to find the pursuit of happiness in my journey thru recovery. I dedicate the Collection in memory of my late husband Al Criss who passed away tragically in my arms at a youthful age of 28 from an auto accident during the cross roads of our newly founded marriage. Then after a family history of cancers and other tragic illnesses, I chose style names for CRISSCROSS™ in memory of dear family, friends and loved ones.
WITH SPECIAL THANKS
My motto during my treatment was and continues to be. . . Don't let cancer get the BREAST of you. I didn't!
Special thanks to my core CRISSCROSS Advisory Board members consisting of representatives from various industries in Beauty, Fashion, Finance, Healthcare, Philanthropy and big Start-ups. With much gratitude to my wonderful Mother, who has been so endearing, my sounding board in business and her endless support has been so giving. Her dedication and love for family is even more special, and that is what brings the CRISSCROSS brand here today, inspiration from the heart. A Collection designed for our dear loved ones who died tragically from stage four cancers. I was driven to persevere with family love, encouragement and insight and that helped me achieve my dreams. Let the memories of my loved ones live on with this brand. I wish all survivors well and all of you the breast! Jean