Noelia Morales is the founder of Anna Bonny, a lingerie collection of patches to conceal with touching grace the often devastating effects of mastectomy. The aim of Anna Bonny is to evolve how society perceives breast cancer, feminity and beauty.
We had a chat with Noelia on how she turned the reflection of her own experience into an Anna Bonny project.
Could you tell us the vision of the Anna Bonny project?
There is unquestionably beauty to be found in the scars of survivors but is a challenging kind of beauty that can invoke pity as often as awe, and no-one wants to be pitied. It is in that need to feel pride and self-love as a counterbalance to the depression and loss of libido that so many women suffer silently from, that Anna Bonny came to life. The patch was born from a feeling that, in spite of all that it has been subjected to and survived, perhaps your body is a treasure, to be cherished and celebrated. It is an unusual, possibly controversial item that we hope will excite, seduce, comfort and provoke. We want to start conversations that will benefit us all.
You are sharing your own experience through Anna Bonny project. Do you think Anna Bonny can change the social stigma towards women that have suffered a mastectomy?
Yes I do. If I had discovered Anna Bonny when I was announced a radical mastectomy, I think it would not have seemed so serious. I think Anna Bonny’s pieces make it more bearable, lighten up. It is a garment that erases the violence of a breast mastectomized with a contemporary language.
What is the story behind Anna Bonny name?
There are many metaphors of cancer, battles and journeys are the most common but for me, of course, it must be seen as more of an adventure, a voyage, set sail with me for these are unknown waters. Plus, the idea of a patch (which has always communicated rebellion), could only lead to a pirate. Anna Bonny was one of the few female pirates of legend. By all accounts, a wild, adventurous, beautiful and brave woman who lived her life entirely on her own terms. She was captured and sentenced to death, but the night before her execution, she disappeared without a trace. I like to think that now she is back, but instead of missing an eye (like most pirates do), she has just one breast.
You were awarded the winner of the Swarovski Grand Prix Accessories Prize in Festival de Hyères 2019 for your lingerie collection, The Mastectomy Patch, with a grant offered by Swarovski, and a collaborative project with Chanel. What are you aiming from these collaborations?
I hope to soon be able to offer a wider catalogue of patches and develop new products that keep the same strong message in an excellent way.
This year Anna Bonny also represented turbans in Barcelona Fashion Week. How do you see the future for Anna Bonny?
My deepest wish is that Anna Bonny would cease to exist shortly because it no longer has any reason to exist because cancer disappears or it no longer needs such treatments. While that does not happen, I hope to improve the quality of life of cancer fighters by developing really beautiful garments that talks about embracing your body, underlines that we are not perfect but that we have a great and intelligent sense of humour. And that we are sexier than before if that is possible;)