Caroline Perron on breast cancer, femininity and finding the right bra.

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La Vie en Rose’s Muse collection is the first line of its kind in a major retail store—and the company’s Muse model is a major inspirational force to breast cancer survivors and patients.

The Idea Behind the Creation of the Muse Collection

The story begins more than six years ago when one woman was shopping for a feminine bra following a double mastectomy.

“The la Vie en Rose Muse collection originated following a call we received many years ago from a loyal customer, who had undergone a double mastectomy and couldn’t find a bra that suited her needs and wanted an attractive lingerie piece,” John Izzo, vice president of design and product development at la Vie en Rose, explains. “We were inspired by her and so we began developing our own design of a post-mastectomy bra with her help and other women, who had had a mastectomy as well.”

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The Muse line features two removable figure-corrective pads. Filled with gel, the pads have a weight to them that helps the bra mimic natural movement in the bust, with microbeads in the upper section for a natural, smooth fit.

As an alternative to prostheses, the Muse collection is cooler, more comfortable and easier to clean, while also offering a natural-looking silhouette.

Some other key features include soft microfiber lining for a comfortable fit, straps fitted toward the centre of each cup for a closer fit and smoother silhouette and a lace overlay between the cups to conceal radiotherapy scars.

“Sadly, the woman who inspired this collection never had the chance to see the final product in one of our stores as she lost her battle with cancer,” notes Izzo. “In honour of her life and femininity, we named the bra collection Muse.”

The Perfect Muse Model: Caroline Perron

Fittingly, Caroline Perron, a breast cancer survivor and inspiring motivational speaker, became the la Vie en Rose Muse model.

“I cannot talk for other women but for me, I never had the feeling I was less feminine after my mastectomy,” Perron says. “Personally, when I took off the bandages and saw the scars on my body for the first time in the mirror, I found it beautiful. Because the first thought I had was how beautiful my body was, the body that fought for me to save my life.”

When Perron agreed to become the Muse model, she did so partly to give herself a new experience and partly to allow other women to see a model who went through breast cancer and a double mastectomy embrace her body—someone like them in a normal, feminine-looking bra.

While Perron notes that she was able to find post-mastectomy bras that fit her, they didn’t offer the same sense of normalcy or femininity la Vie en Rose promises with the Muse collection, available in any of its stores.

Lace isn’t hard to come by in the lingerie section of seemingly any store but for women shopping for a post-mastectomy bra, the reality is quite different. Functionality and comfort take front seat in many designs. Unfortunately, it also means shopping for intimates in specific stores or online and owning not-quite-matching under things.

Ladies, we must admit that there’s some feel-good power in a lacey set that makes you love the skin you’re in. This is the feeling La Vie en Rose delivers to post-mastectomy patients. That, plus a feeling of normalcy being able to purchase a brassiere and panty set at the mall, just like every other woman.

“Obviously, I’m proud to be the la Vie en Rose Muse model because I appreciate the product,” states Perron. “But also, I love the company and the fact that they are making post-mastectomy bras available in a ‘regular’ lingerie store, which really inspires me.”

Spreading Inspiration Among Breast Cancer Survivors

As the face of the Muse collection, Perron has received feedback and many words of encouragement from friends and family, breast cancer survivors and strangers.

“They all tell me that it was inspirational to them to hear my story,” shares Perron. “Some survivors even told me they would look at themselves in a different way from now on and I think this is the most beautiful thing that someone could have said and did say!”

When it comes to offering advice or inspiration for breast cancer survivors, Perron offers these words: “Always think of yourself—after you have been diagnosed, after treatments and the operations, which will follow, you have to take the time for yourself. Despite the circumstances, you are alive and you are beautiful.”

Want to help raise funds for brease cancer reasearch and awareness? For the remainder of October, la Vie en Rose is donating $1.00 from every bra purchase—in stores and online—to breast cancer research. Happy shopping!