Camilla and Marc’s creative director on how we can make make an ovarian cancer early detection test a reality

28 March 2023
By Fashion Quarterly

Camilla Freeman-Topper, Creative Director of CAMILLA AND MARC, speaks to Fashion Quarterly on how joining the conversation on ovarian cancer can make an early-detection test a very real possibility.

Camilla Freeman-Topper, Creative Director of CAMILLA AND MARC, speaks to Fashion Quarterly on how joining the conversation on ovarian cancer can make an early-detection test a very real possibility.
Camilla Freeman-Topper, Creative Director of CAMILLA AND MARC

Ovaries. Talk About Them. is a powerful campaign designed to start a bold conversation about ovarian cancer so we can change the face of this disease for all women and people with ovaries. We started this campaign in honour of our mother who lost her courageous fight with ovarian cancer when Marc and I were 11 and 13. Today  it’s become a movement that exists for all women, and all people with ovaries.

Our goal is to start a meaningful conversation and get an early detection test to clinical trials within the next 3 years which women so rightly deserve. Ultimately, we do this so that another daughter or son does not have to lose their mum too soon.  

We’re continuing our trajectory to open up the conversation around women’s health and make women feel comfortable about speaking about their bodies and get an early detection test to clinical trials in the next 3 years. This will be life changing for women with this prognosis all over the world. We’ve come so far, but there is still so much work to do. It’s still somewhat astounding to me that it has taken one brand, one loud and bold message, backing in the most cutting-edge early detection research in full – just this one campaign, this one movement has caused so much change. It’s incredibly humbling and incredibly exciting what the future may bring for all women. 

The research that is being done at UNSW Ovarian Cancer Research Centre under Professor Caroline Ford is world leading and innovative, and the only one of its kind in ovarian cancer early detection research. We are closer than ever to getting their early detection blood test to clinical trials – we are on the cusp of something truly ground- breaking here. To date we have raised over $1million in funding, where 100% of this has gone directly to the lab, which has enabled the salaries of two key scientists to work on this project full time, as well as vital equipment to fast track this research.

This year we partnered with the wonderful London based artist Alba Hodsoll on our limited-edition collection of t-shirts and sweaters. Alba has concepted ovaries through her unique abstract lens in the most powerful and ethereal way. We wanted to celebrate ovaries in a way we hadn’t done before. Alba is renowned for her works of the female anatomy and body, so the fit was perfect for this campaign.

This year we’ve got an amazing collective of talent who have come together to advocate for this extremely imperative cause. The likes of Catherine Martin, Minister Tanya Plibersek, Sam Corlett, Mia Healey, Mel Jarnson, Maddison Brown, Keiynan Lonsdale and more – All of whom have their own personal connection to the cause in one way or another.

The 2023 Ovaries. Talk About Them collection is an exclusive Limited Edition art tee, designed in collaboration with artist Alba Hodsoll and is a beautiful abstract interpretation of a woman’s anatomy. 

As always, we want to deeply honour the women and families who have lived through the effects of this gruelling disease. This year we have multiple layers to the campaign, but one that is truly powerful is the stories of these brave and courageous women; Karin Bäumler, Caitlin Delaney, Alisi Jack Kaufusi andSophie Fawns. These amazing and awe-inspiring women unpack the devastation, the loss, the stigma and inequality that exists for this disease in the most raw and real way.

Dig deep, ask questions, and be curious about your health. Too often women are dismissed and ignored for their pain and health concerns. Understand the signs and symptoms, although elusive things like bloating, pelvic pain, increased need to urinate. While these are all the things that many women experience on a daily or monthly basis, the distinction seems to be that these symptoms are persistent over days and weeks. The important point is to notice any changes and seek medical advice if they continue. 

The most common misconception around ovarian cancer I must address, is in relation to a test. Many women think that a cervical screening test for cervical cancer or otherwise commonly known as a pap smear, can also detect ovarian cancer, which is incorrect.  

There is currently no test for ovarian cancer, there never has been, even though it is the deadliest female cancer. We are doing all we can to change this. Join the conversation, buy the t-shirt, and let’s make this life saving early detection test a reality.

T-shirts can be purchased here: Ovaries, Talk About Them (camillaandmarc.com)

The limited-edition collection will be available online and at all CAMILLA AND MARC boutiques nationwide from March 28, 2023 for a limited time while stocks last. 100% of all sales will be donated directly to the cause.
In the last 3 years, CAMILLA AND MARC has raised over $1 million dollars, funding has enabled the UNSW Ovarian Cancer Research Group to employ two key female scientists to focus solely on this work and essential infrastructure and equipment such as a Quantative PCR Machine, Freezers for blood bio-banking, Qubit Machine and Liquid Handling Robot.
Join the conversation, buy a t-shirt, donate what you can and help make this life changing early detection test a reality in the next 3 years.

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