New York There are plenty of worthy charitable causes out there, and the fashion and beauty industries support many of them with special fund-raisers and promotions. But breast cancer research just might get the most support.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and store shelves will be lined with special products in pink -- the signature color of the cause -- that aim to raise the profile and, more important, money for the search for a cure.
Avon, which during the past decade has returned $250 million to breast cancer research and care organizations worldwide, is one of the leaders of the movement. This year, the new Avon Breast Cancer Crusade products are an umbrella and a cosmetics case with a renewable lipstick inside.
"Our new Crusade products are valuable additions to our collection, which raise funds to provide access to care for medically underserved women, including minorities and those without adequate insurance," Avon Foundation president Kathleen Walas said in a statement.
The umbrella is black nylon with a border design of pink ribbons, the universal symbol of the breast cancer cause; the glossy, black vinyl cosmetics case has a pattern of pink ribbons on the outside and a lipstick in either Crusade Pink, Faithful Heart, Strength, Triumph, Courageous Spirit or Inspiration Spirit inside.
Other products donating proceeds to breast cancer charities during October include:
- Italian luxury goods maker Salvatore Ferragamo is selling limited-edition "pink ribbon" bracelets with a pink leather strap and brushed silver-finish clasp. The piece, which benefits the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, also can be worn as a choker.
- Shoe designer Stuart Weitzman has his third annual celebrity shoe auction on his Web site. This time, Weitzman invited sports stars such as Serena Williams and Jerry Rice to each decorate a stilleto-heel shoe and autograph it. The shoes can be seen in person at his New York, Beverly Hills, Calif., and Boston stores.
- New Balance offers sneakers with an embroidered pink ribbon and a warm-up jacket in white, black and pink, also with an embroidered ribbon. These products also benefit the Komen foundation.
- Lilly Pulitzer recruited celebrities such as Helen Hunt and Marg Helgenberger to "get tied to the cause" with a limited-edition scarf. The stars appear in ads, and they will talk about their personal commitment to breast cancer awareness throughout October. The flower-and-butterfly print scarf in pink and green silk was created in partnership with Ford Motor Co. and Bloomingdale's to benefit the Komen foundation.
- Tweezerman adds a pink ribbon to its best-selling "slant" tweezers to raise money for CancerCare.
- Figleaves, an online lingerie retailer, worked with British lingerie company Beau Bra to create a collection called Grace to raise money for the Komen foundation. One lingerie set features a bra and thong in pink and pale gold chantilly lace, the other is a camisole and boy short in the same fabric. All the pieces incorporate little pink satin bows into the design.
- Karen Neuberger's line of cozy products to raise money for Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization includes a pair of cotton-blend pajamas with a pattern of pink roses and ribbons and the words "mothers, daughters and sisters" to remind us that breast cancer can affect all women; a kimono-style robe with an embroidered pink ribbon on the lapel; and a pair of pink fleece slippers, also embroidered with a pink ribbon.
- Estee Lauder's Elizabeth Pink lipstick is named for company spokeswoman Elizabeth Hurley and was created to mark the 10th anniversary of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
- Bliss, the spa and beauty products company, is donating 20 percent of the retail price of all its long-lasting lip tints to Gilda's Club New York City, a cancer support community named for comedian Gilda Radner.
- L'Occitane's new room spray blends rose, pepper, roseberry and vanilla to raise money for the Komen foundation.
- The Maiden America Web site, which features boutique fashion items all made in the United States, has devoted a shopping page to products that donate funds to the Komen foundation. The "gifts that keep on giving" include Lara Zalon's pink tourmaline earrings and Phuzz's magenta zippered clutch bag.
- FlipFlopTrunkShow, which sells, yes, flip-flops, online, says its "dressing room" shoe, featuring a pink silk bra-strap thong and Ultrasuede footbed, is a perfect fit to raise money for the Carol Baldwin Breast Cancer Fund.