The Witchery White Shirt Campaign That Could Save Lives

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Witchery White Shirt Campaign which hopes to bring awareness and raise funds towards ovarian cancer research. Tuesday May 8 marks the day, and Witchery are encouraging Kiwis to wear a white shirt in support of those suffering from ovarian cancer.

To commemorate the milestone Witchery has come together with four cancer survivors,  one research scientist and five of fashion’s most iconic faces to be ambassadors.

Witchery are selling 10 different white t-shirt designs with 100 per cent of the sales going directly to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. These can be purchased in all Witchery stores.

More awareness of ovarian cancer is needed as 350 New Zealand women are diagnosed each year. This year the campaign has raised over $1 million to help fund research in developing early detection tests for the disease.

We talked to one of the celebrity ambassadors, TV presenter Ksenija Lukich about the White Shirt Campaign and why it resonates with her.

Tell us about shooting the Witchery White Shirt campaign and your involvement?

 I had the most incredible day on the shoot for this year’s Witchery White Shirt Campaign. Not only are the images beautiful (thanks to my fav photographer Georges Antoni) but being surrounded by so many incredibly inspiring people who dedicated their time to this cause. It is an absolute honour to be a part of the campaign, especially in its 10th year. I spent the day hearing stories from survivors and cancer researchers and was in awe of their strength and perseverance.

What is it about the campaign that resonates with you?

 I think for me, knowing exactly where the money goes is important. 100% of the proceeds going directly to the OCRF and Witchery have helped raise over 10 million dollars in the last 10 years. We know that the key to finding a cure and early detection test is research, and funding research is key. We aren’t just talking about awareness (which is still important) but we are talking about tangible funds that are saving lives.

Four of this year’s ambassadors are ovarian cancer survivors. What do you want people to know about their stories after working on this campaign with them?

Hearing stories from those who had survived this disease was, by far, the most incredible part of being involved in this year’s campaign. Jemima Leydon was 4 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, a fact that in itself should make you aware that no one is safe from this disease. Thankfully she survived and is now a happy, successful teenager. She was shy, sweet and incredibly kind and I spent a lot of time with her and her mum just chatting. She looked incredible in the shoot and I really hope she felt it!

How does it feel to be involved in the tenth Witchery White Shirt campaign?

I truly feel honoured. The OCRF is a wonderful organisation and I’m humbled to have been asked to be a part of it. Donating a day of my time and buying a white shirt were no-brainers.

If people should know one thing about ovarian cancer, what is it?

 Their money IS helping. Survival rates are going up but they are still far too low. The 5 year survival rate for Ovarian Cancer is 45%, but with early detection can go up to over 90%. That is why finding an early detection test is so important!

How can people get involved with the campaign?

Getting involved is incredibly easy. You can buy a white shirt online or in store now or donate directly to the OCRF. There is a style for everyone! I actually ended up buying the shirt I wore in the campaign, it’s the perfect men’s style white shirt.

What does a white shirt mean to you?

It means showing my support for the thousands of women going through ovarian cancer treatment.

 How do you style your white shirt?

 My favourite is the men’s style white shirt, so I love to wear it with a pair of ripped jeans and loafers or with leather pants.

Who inspires you and why?

I’m really inspired by strong women who have carved incredibly careers for themselves. Women like Carrie Bickmore and Lisa Wilkinson and more broadly Bruna Papandrea, an Aussie producer who is absolutely killing it in LA. She works really closely with Reese Witherspoon and produced movies like Big Little Lies and Gone Girl. She’s an absolute powerhouse!

 

White Shirt Day takes place on Tuesday May 8 and all Kiwi’s are encouraged to wear a white shirt in support.