Breast Cancer Awareness: Sheryl Crow for Ralph Lauren, Meghan Markle-Loved Jeweler Launch Initiatives

Sheryl Crow Ralph Lauren - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Ralph Lauren

This month is all about fighting the fight: creative fashion campaigns are raising money for the disease that affects one in eight women in the U.S.

Now that October has arrived, Breast Cancer Awareness month is also upon us. And this time around, many brands are joining in the fight against the disease that reportedly affects one in eight women in the U.S. Among them are longtime advocate Ralph Lauren (who has introduced a new Polo Ralph Lauren Pink Pony campaign starring Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow and Emmy-winning New York Times "Life, Interrupted" columnist Suleika Jaouad) and Meghan Markle-loved Parisian jeweler Pascale Monvoisin, who is partnering with the U.K.-based non-profit Against Breast Cancer to uniquely raise funds from the creation of a yellow diamond necklace made from a lock of human hair that gives back.

Ever since the 1989 breast cancer diagnosis of his friend, The Washington Post fashion editor Nina Hyde, Lauren has been a champion of efforts to battle cancer. Throughout this month, the front of Ralph Lauren flagship stores in New York City, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Shanghai, London and Paris will be illuminated in pink. Initially launched in 2000, the brand's global Pink Pony campaign, "Together in Pink" for 2019, will raise awareness through a podcast series, a clothing collection and even a signature cocktail.

The podcast features Crow and Jaouad — both cancer survivors — having candid conversations with a fellow survivor, family member or supporter. The series will include seven Pink Pony-themed episodes that will air over a year and encourage followers to share their own cancer war stories with #PinkPony.

"As a survivor of breast cancer, the Pink Pony initiative is a cause that is near and dear to my heart," Crow exclusively told The Hollywood Reporter. "My journey through cancer has changed my life is so many ways — it is important to me to share that journey and to create a conversation around an issue which touches almost everyone."

The Pink Pony fashion collection includes new themed spins on Polo classics for men, women and children with a heart logo and pink pony motif. A pink denim jacket with embroidery, a pink punk-rock leather jacket with zippers galore and a pink jumpsuit are among the offerings for ladies. All proceeds from each light-pink "Live Love" T-shirt (and 25 percent of all other items in the Pink Pony Collection) will be donated to the Pink Pony Fund of The Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation or to an international network of cancer charities. Ralph Lauren stores will toast the program with the Pink Pony signature cocktail (made with Maestro Dobel Diamond Tequila and Chateau de Pellehaut 1989 Armagnac) also with a percentage being donated, so that patrons can do good while shopping and sipping.

Also putting fashion towards the breast cancer fight is Parisian artist turned jewelry designer Pascale Monvoisin — fans include Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle and Madonna, who wore the line's jewels at the 2018 Met Gala. The project, dubbed "The World’s Most Precious Stone," is a partnership between Monvoisin, the U.K.-based nonprofit Against Breast Cancer, and Danielle Callaghan, a young mother diagnosed with incurable stage IV breast cancer. 

Prior to losing her hair during chemotherapy, Callaghan cut off a lock of it and sent it away to be made into a 1.59-carat yellow diamond by the Chicago-based company LifeGem, which has made a name for creating memorial diamonds from the carbon in hair. (The carbon, converted to graphite, is placed in a diamond press that mimics the earth’s pressure and heat to create a certifiable diamond.) The yellow diamond was then sent to Monvoisin in Paris, who designed a gold necklace and setting for the stone at no charge. 

"Danielle wanted a yellow diamond because it symbolizes the sun, strength and light," Pascale said in a statement.

The concept behind "The World's Most Precious Stone" is that whenever a donation is made, the gem’s value will increase, with the intent to make the stone the most valuable in the world. The funds raised will be donated to Against Breast Cancer to support research on prevention, early detection and new treatments.