SPIRIT 

Garance is led by Cecile Pasquinelli Vu-Hong who suffered from breast cancer in the spring of 2010. She went through 18 months of treatments and during these trying times she experienced the same frustrations as all these women who live through the loss of their feminine attributes: breast, hair, eyebrows, eyelashes…

Looking back at the 4 fantastic years since launching Garance, a beautiful human and entrepreneurial journey, Cecile still has many projects and is telling us about how it all began…
“August 2010, Antibes (South of France)
It was one of these exquisite summer morning, in a large villa in South of France. You know, one of these villas with a superb pool. I was there, exhausted by my fight against the disease but in good spirit, grateful for these moments I was spending with my family, determined to enjoy some relaxing time in the sun.
I woke up to the sound of the crickets, thinking about swimming infinite laps and how delicious and refreshing this would be… I could almost hear the sound of my body immersed in the water.
I put on this swimsuit, neither totally ugly nor absolutely stunning, the one I had finally found after having tried on so many different models, the one that was more or less hiding this body that I did not want to show.
And that’s when I saw her. Her, the girl with the long blond hair, some kind of modern days’ Ursula Andress. Whilst getting out of the pool, she twisted her mane over her right shoulder to dry it, in a very simple and elegant gesture.
I was captivated by her movements, so feminine, so common and so… unfamiliar at the same time.
Until that moment I had not realized how much my own way of moving my body had changed. Always stylish with a collection of beautiful printed scarves in my closet… I was feeling pretty in spite of the disease.
The realization had a chilling effect on me, the cancer had indeed damaged my femininity.
At this very moment, I felt utterly ugly. All the women around me looked stunningly beautiful, their wet hair drying and curling naturally with this grace that only summer can create, all wearing swimwear carefully chosen, highlighting the color of their eyes, enhancing their silhouette, their plunging neckline, or the beautiful curves of their hips…
Suddenly my swimsuit was incredibly ugly and I felt ridiculous. My scarf clashed with it, I would not be able to get my head in the water, and even less to shake dry that hair that I did not have. I too wanted be able to do that movement above my shoulder and to tie my swimsuit around my neck, as I always had.
I wanted to behave like them all, as a woman. Certainly weakened but still feminine!
The entire charm of the holiday and the excitement and aspirations I had as I woke up that day had just vanished.
And this is at that very moment that Garance was born.
The realization that femininity had been damaged awakened the anger growing inside of me.
Why did it have to be that hard to feel like a woman after breast cancer? Why wasn’t out there a swimsuit that would make me feel pretty, a beautiful collection of swimwear that I could buy in the same store as all other women? I decided that no woman would have to live through that again.
I was going to fight to change things. So that fashion makes the lives of all women who went through or would go through the journey I had just gone through, better.
I had time, I may not have had loads of energy, but I wanted to do it. And so I did it.”
Garance is much more than a fashion brand. It offers much more than swimwear or post mastectomy lingerie. It offers a genuine support to women. The support that they need to reconquer their femininity damaged by the disease.
With its models designed for those wearing a breast prosthesis, Garance swimwear offer all women an alternative. They are comfortable, technical, but not only: they are also beautiful and trendy!
For a woman, buying Garance is not only about buying mastectomy lingerie or swimwear, it is also about endorsing this approach, this story and saying loud and clear how proud she is to be a woman. In a way, it is about participating in this fantastic adventure and accompanying the brand in all the steps it is taking, it is about supporting it in its daily fight against “de-medicalization”, against taboos.
For a woman, buying Garance is buying a post mastectomy swimsuit, buying pretty post cancer lingerie, supporting all women and fighting against the consequences of cancer.

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