This entry was written by LBBC’s Marketing and Communications Assistant, Stacia Weaver:
“We are a clothing line for women. How can we not be behind breast cancer awareness? It takes away from our credibility and our genuineness,” said Donna Noce Colaco, president of White House | Black Market. Donna was on the scenes of the photo shoot that seemed to be a dream come true to 25 breast cancer survivors who were selected to be a part of the 25th anniversary that the clothing store wanted to celebrate in a very special way.
What is normally a serious and professional atmosphere at one of the most esteemed photography studios in New York, Milk Studios somehow transformed as the intensity of the emotions and countless stories of the women touched the hearts of everyone on set including the make-up artists, hair stylists, wardrobe coordinators, and the photographers.
“I cried five times,” said Dayna Isom who described the opportunity as “phenomenal.” Dana is the Senior PR Specialist for White House | Black Market and was truly amazed at how extraordinary this event was.
This photo shoot in particular, which will feature all of the 25 finalists in White House | Black Market’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month catalog was the first of many for both organizations. It was the first time that LBBC has extended an opportunity of this sort to our constituents, who received an expense-paid trip to New York, a free outfit and accessories, a gift card, a hair and make-up make over, and participated in a high-fashion photo shoot modeling select items for the fall season that have yet to hit the shelves!
White House | Black Market was grateful for LBBC and for the women who we put them in touch with to make this opportunity come to light. It would be the first time that White House | Black Market would highlight real women and not models in their catalog!
“The photographers were able to take off their professional faces. They’re so used to working with models and professionals. Working with real people who have real stories allows them to be patient and embrace the innocence of those who are doing this for the first time,” said Stacia Weaver, marketing and communications assistant for LBBC.
The president of White House | Black Market graced the scenes of the photo shoot after making an appearance on the CBS Early Show. She, along with the finalists, were able to interact with the Early Show anchor, Harry Smith. His mother was a breast cancer survivor who lived to be in her nineties. Donna wore an elegant light-fabric black dress accented with a beautifully embellished necklace with pink charms that was made specifically for breast cancer awareness. Both items will be coming out later in the season.
“That’s the perk of being the president,” said Donna who later gave the exclusive necklace to Jo Ann Cottman, one of the finalists and a regular LBBC volunteer. Jo Ann expressed to Donna how much she appreciated this opportunity and how much she loved the charm necklace!
The women were thrilled about the experience and were completely moved after seeing the finished product. “When I saw my picture, I started crying. I always told myself, ‘when I shave my hair off, I want to take one nice picture.’ And this is it,” said Glynis Rhodes, one of the 25 finalists.
The women formed an unbreakable bond and felt comfortable elaborating on their stories to each other and their respective make-up artist or hair stylist. Vivian Rivera was the last of the 25 finalists to have her photo shoot. During her make-up segment with high fashion make-up artist Alice Lane, who has worked with the likes of Naomi Campbell and Gwyneth Paltrow, Vivian mentioned losing her eyelashes after undergoing chemo.
“I want to do this right. Take my credit card,” said Alice who sent her assistant to the nearest make-up store to buy individual eyelashes which would be used to complete Vivian’s makeover.
“Me and my eyelashes are going out tonight,” said an excited Vivian.
Click here to view behind-the-scenes pictures of the shoot and the set of the CBS Early Show: