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There was a lot of buzz about Victoria Beckham baring it all for the Marc Jacobs skin cancer awareness T-shirt this past March. And since then, as well as prior to that, many other celebrities stripped in support of the Cancer Awareness campaign.
There are numerous iterations of the t-shirt that bear the slogans: "Protect the Skin You're In", "Protect Your Largest Organ" and "Save Your Ass" all strategically placed over parts of bodies of many celebs. Some are printed front and back, some on color and some on grey.
above: Winona Ryder, front and back
Despite the fact that the celebrities, models and Marc Jacobs get most the press, the unsung heroes of this campaign are Robert Duffy, President of Marc Jacobs International, LLC and the late Dr. Jesse Ruben, who inspired the campaign and photographer Brian Bowen Smith who shot these celebrities. Not to mention the New York University Interdisciplinary Melanoma Cooperative Group,
Chances are you are not aware of exactly how many female celebrities have since showed some skin in support. I certainly wasn't. I noticed most blog and reports have incorrectly reported the number of celebs who have donated their time and beautiful bodies to this campaign. There seem to be far more than most people know.
above: Victoria Beckham
First off, I didn't realize that the shirts did not begin with Mrs Beckham, but she was instead later added to the impressive roster of celebrities supporting this cause. The campaign actually began in 2006 with Naomi Campbell, Winona Ryder, Rufus Wainwright, Julianne Moore and Selma Blair. The shirts were sold at the initial fund raiser only and subsequently in Marc Jacob boutiques.
The windows of Marc Jacob's Bleeker St. store showed banners and tees to herald the event:
Since the initial fundraiser, more models have joined the cause and several new shirts have been issued- however now only in grey, at marc jacob boutiques (and probably on ebay as well).
Who actually posed in the buff?
I have found the following females, in addition to Mrs. Beckham, shot by Mr. Bowen Smith for the shirts are: Winona Ryder, Helena Christiansen, Eva Mendes, Selma Blair, Heidi Klum, Dita von Teese, Naomi Campbell, Carolyn Murphy, Joss Stone, Julianna Moore, Christy Turlington, Hilary Swank, Alison Lohman .. and yet there are probably more.
The males are: Marc himself, Brandon Boyd, Rufus Wainwright, Jason Thompson as well as many other male models
Initially available in colors and for 20$, they are now harder to find, include the models name on the right arm and retail for $35 at Marc Jacobs boutiques and only 15 now seem to be available (shown below).
Dita von Teese
Other Males (whose identity I do not know)
About the campaign:
The “Protect The Skin You’re In” campaign began last year when Marc Jacobs and fellow business partner Robert Duffy, President of Marc Jacobs International, LLC, persuaded celebrities including Naomi Campbell, Winona Ryder, Rufus Wainwright, Julianne Moore, and Selma Blair to disregard warnings from agents and managers and pose naked for a series of T-shirts about the dangers of skin cancer. The campaign raised awareness and almost $400,000 for the NYU School of Medicine’s Interdisciplinary Melanoma Cooperative Group, led by Dr. Iman Osman. Photographer Brian Bowen Smith traveled around the world multiple times for photo shoots for the shirts, a tribute to late NYU physician Dr. Jesse Ruben.For more information about melanoma and other cancers go to www.nyuci.org
Mr. Duffy, a patient of Dr. Richard Shapiro, spoke about his treatment for melanoma at the NYU Cancer Institute Gala. He said the melanoma campaign will be an annual affair for Marc Jacobs: last year's sold out designs are being reissued along with new T-shirts, featuring the models Helena Christensen, Eva Mendes, Heidi Klum and Alison Lohman in the nude.
Every hour, someone dies of melanoma, but if caught early, the cure rate could be 100 percent. Melanoma is the easiest cancer to detect early because all you need is a trained pair of eyes. The message is don't let embarrassment stop you from stripping down before your physician or someone you love, and use the ABCDE rule--developed by physicians at NYU Medical Center--to determine if a mole could be cancerous: A for asymmetry; B for irregular border; C for color variation; D for diameter larger than a pencil eraser; and E for evolution of existing mole.
All proceeds from the T-shirts will go to support the NYU Cancer Institute.
T-shirts will be sold nationwide at all Marc Jacobs stores. For store location go to www.marcjacobs.com