Fashion heavyweights join forces to support Garvan for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research today announced that it will bring the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (FTBC) fundraising campaign to life in 2015 with leading fashion industry partners, designer Karen Walker and Australia’s leading online fashion retailer, THE ICONIC.
Media Release: 14 August 2015

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research today announced that it will bring the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (FTBC) fundraising campaign to life in 2015 with leading fashion industry partners, designer Karen Walker and Australia’s leading online fashion retailer, THE ICONIC.

Karen Walker is lending her chic meets eccentric aesthetic to this year’s campaign and has designed the t-shirt exclusively for the cause. The t-shirt will be sold exclusively through THE ICONIC for Spring 2015. 

Mark Kelly, Chair of the Committee for FTBC Australia says: “FTBC was the first charity to use a tee to support breast cancer in Australia. This year, our aim is to make FTBC the most wearable and shareable fundraising campaign yet. We’re thrilled to bring the trailblazers and powerhouses of the fashion industry together to support, create and share Garvan’s research vision and help to transform the outcomes for breast cancer patients.”

Of the campaign, Karen Walker says: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Garvan Institute to help make a difference to breast cancer research and work towards a world where my daughter and future generations are no longer at risk of the disease.”

Patrick Schmidt, Chief Executive Officer, THE ICONIC, expressed the e-tailer’s pride in supporting FTBC and the Garvan Institute as the exclusive retail partner. “In the Garvan Institute we recognise a leader in breakthrough medical research that works tirelessly to enable a better life for so many Australians affected by breast cancer. We are inspired by the advancements the organisation has already achieved, and honoured to join their mission.

Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Launch“As Australia’s largest online shopping destination, we are delighted to use the power of digital innovation to connect the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer program with new generations of Australians. THE ICONIC sees more than five million visits to our site each month – we know what Australians want to wear, and we’re certain our fashion-forward customers will love this special t-shirt from one of our most popular local designers, Karen Walker. We’re pleased to offer an item that starts impactful conversations about an issue facing the Australian community,” says Schmidt.

Internationally renowned designer and founder of the FTBC campaign, Ralph Lauren is looking forward to seeing the campaign taken to new heights in Australia, saying: “Fashion Targets Breast Cancer is a cause that is deeply important to me and it has been tremendous to watch it expand internationally over the years. FTBC Australia has been integral in raising funds and awareness for breast cancer and in securing notable talent to show their support for the cause.

“When someone we love has cancer we are all affected - husbands, wives, mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers and friends. I look forward to many more years of successful FTBC campaigns worldwide,” said Lauren. Ralph Lauren created FTBC in 1994 in memory of fashion editor Nina Hyde who died of breast cancer. The campaign has a presence in 14 countries around the world and is the fashion industry’s charity brand of choice. In Australia, the campaign has raised more than $2.7 million for breast cancer research, focusing on women under the age of 40 years.

The Garvan Institute is a leading biomedical research institute, pioneering research into some of the major diseases affecting society (e.g. cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, immunological disorders and osteoporosis) and is home to one of the largest cancer research groups in Australia. By aligning with Garvan, FTBC will be investing funds directly towards pioneering Australian breast cancer research including early on-set breast cancer.

Professor David Thomas, Head of the Cancer Division and Director of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre at Garvan says: “The past 20 years has seen medical research make significant advances in our understanding of breast cancer. Garvan is at the forefront of medical research. We’re using state-of-the-art whole human genome sequencing technologies to look at an individual’s DNA and start to understand how that impacts the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer on a personal level.

“Funds raised by the campaign will support us to investigate the genetic factors that lead particularly to early onset breast cancer; develop genetic markers for early detection, disease progression and treatment response; as well as study tumour growth with the ultimate aim of eradicating this all-too-common disease,” said Prof Thomas.

As International Ambassador, George Kotsiopoulos will help extend the message globally and is set to visit Australia in October to appear at a fundraising event for Garvan.

The Fashion Targets Breast Cancer T-shirt designed by Karen Walker will be available this Spring 2015 from THE ICONIC.


Breast Cancer – The Facts:

  • In Australian women, breast cancer is the most common cancer
  • Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death after lung cancer
  • More than 12,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia each year
  • More than 2,600 will lose their life each year
  • One in 9 Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer
  • One in 37 will die from the disease by the age of 85 years
  • Survival estimates for women under the age of 40 are significantly lower, which may be due to more aggressive tumours and less response to treatment.

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