Popular swimwear designers Shivan Bhatiya and Narresh Kukreja, who retail under their brand Shivan & Narresh, have launched what they call a mastectomy blouse. Apart from selling a high-end version at their store, the duo has also developed an affordable one that they hope will appeal to NGOs and cancer survivors.
Kukreja says the idea stemmed from watching his father suffer from cancer. “The impact is physical as well as psychological. We realised how frivolous beauty is, but how, at the same time, it can be important in encouraging survivors and make them feel good,” he says.
The designers have, in the past, designed garments for breast cancer survivors. Typically, specially developed blouses at the store cost upwards of Rs 15,000, but they’ve now come up with a Rs 2,000 version. “We want to join hands with NGOs and corporates to fund and distribute them. But the eventual aim is to stock them at chemists,” says Kukreja.
Also in the pipeline is a full-fledged mastectomy swimwear range, to which this blouse serves as a prelude. “That range will be expensive and aimed at our usual clients,” adds Kukreja. “Some survivors don’t feel comfortable wearing beachwear because the regular styles don’t fit them and they don’t have anything appropriate to wear around water.”
The duo’s first order has come from an NGO named Passages, which has commissioned them to make 50 blouses that they will distribute among needy women.