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.”