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Fashion Designer Marc Jacobs Launches Melanoma T-Shirt Campaign

Marc Jacobs designs clothing to raise skin-cancer awareness.
By
WebMD Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Victoria Beckham did it. So did Heidi Klum, Julianne Moore, Eva Mendes, and Rufus Wainwright. To help raise money for skin cancer, these A-listers let themselves be photographed, naked, for fashion designer Marc Jacobs’ “Protect the Skin You’re In” melanoma naked T-shirt campaign.

The celeb photos are featured on the T-shirts, which may be part of the reason why the initiative has so far brought in more than $500,000 for the NYU School of Medicine Interdisciplinary Melanoma Cooperative Group. Each T costs $35 and is available only at Marc Jacobs stores nationwide (find store locations at www.MarcJacobs.com; click on “company”).

The goal is to call attention to the need to fight skin cancer year-round -- a warning mirroring the American Academy of Dermatology’s annual Melanoma Monday awareness campaign, taking place this year on May 5.

Melanoma: A Treatable Skin Cancer

The American Cancer Society estimates nearly 63,000 new melanomas will be diagnosed in 2008. Fortunately, when diagnosed and treated early, the cure rate can be very high.

But it wasn’t just altruism that got Jacobs involved -- or directed him to NYU. It was his longtime business partner Robert Duffy, who several years ago was diagnosed with melanoma after an NYU dermatologist friend convinced him to get a biopsy on a suspicious mole on his forehead.

Jacobs’ campaign is ongoing, and more celebrities are signing up. Will they all be naked? Yup. Part of the deal. “Let’s face it, naked celebrities get people’s attention -- and getting attention means raising more money and awareness,” says Jacobs. “Plus, I kind of like the fact that it’s a little bit ironic for a fashion company to be putting out the message: Forget about clothes. What’s important is saving your skin.”

Reviewed on March 31, 2008

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