On March 21, the Alloro Collection opened its doors for its second trunk show featured at Tabula Rasa in Washington, DC. The collection provided a unique experience for women suffering from breast cancer and sets the stage for innovation in the market where there is little visibility given to women who want to dress and be fashionable post cancer treatment. The designs address the changes that the body undergoes without sacrificing comfort or appearance, while maintaining a degree of style that could easily be seen on the runways of major fashion houses.
Co-Founder Laurel Kamen had the concept for Alloro after having a double mastectomy in 2011. “I discovered that in getting ready for the surgery that afterwards there were no wonderful beautiful clothes for people who were recovering from all the symptoms of surgery. Not to mention radiation or chemotherapy and so I came up with this idea the night before my surgery,” Kamen said. In partnership with longtime friend and Co-Founder Christine Irvin and designer Roedean Landeaux the Alloro brand was born.
I had an opportunity to view the collection and it is inspirational especially when you take into account the thought behind the construction of each piece. Beautiful blouses designed with cowl necks to give depth and volume to the chest area to solve immediate issues for women who want to feel feminine and apart of the world, even as theirs is changing. Other design elements include snap buttons which allow for easy closure of tops and back seams are used in the absence of side seams to eliminate stress in the under arm area. Possibly the best feature of the line is the infusion of color employed throughout the collection. Stunning jewel tones in reds and deep purples that would satisfy even the most discriminating customer.
When asked if she was surprised that women who had never experienced breast cancer were wearing Alloro, designer Roedean Landeaux said,” Not really. Part of my business as a designer is that I’m not at all someone that works through trends. I have a clientele, I dress who I like to dress, and they like to be comfortable, they’re business women. Women with a lot on their plate that have to look perfect all of the time don’t want to be fussy but want to be current. I think that maybe these clothes say all of those things.”
In speaking with Co-Founder Christine Irivin with regards to the business behind the brand she pointed out that, “Part of our business idea was not only to help women feel better, look better, and give them confidence back. But also to help other women who may need some more financial support, so we are donating 25% of our profits to breast cancer research and helping undeserved women.”
I really have to say that both as a consumer and everyday person I am deeply touched by the commitment that these women have. Kamen’s story of one woman’s personal struggle is moving and reminds me that each moment is precious and we can chose to be victims or we can chose to rise to the occasion and overcome.