Arts and Entertainment | Style

College Fashionista flips cancer the bird with bracelets

  • OFF THE CUFF | Jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher collaborated with College Fashionista to create a brass bracelet reading, “Fuck Cancer.”

Popular student website College Fashionista and jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher have one big thing to say on their latest collaboration: Fuck Cancer.

The duo has teamed up with the Fuck Cancer foundation, founded by Yael Cohen, to create a limited-edition cuff which will be available through Feb. 28.

This venture directly targets the readership of College Fashionista, which is written by and for college students.

“Fuck Cancer is all about supporting people in Generation Y, which is really what we do at College Fashionista,” Amy Levin, founder and creative director of the website, said.

“When Amy came to me with this idea to collab [sic], it was a no-brainer,” Fisher said. “I have been waiting for a pair like Yael and Amy to give a voice to a younger audience about the fight and awareness of this disease.”

The bracelet itself is made of brass with raised, Gothic letters reading, “Fuck Cancer.”

Many of Fisher’s jewelry pieces feature Gothic lettering, using phrases to evoke important moments or emotions in a person’s life, but this project truly hits home for the designer. Thirteen years ago she underwent chemotherapy for desmoids tumors in her chest.

“Being able to put ‘Fuck Cancer’ on the bracelet was … a badass way to represent something that’s really important with edge and a bit more style,” she said. “It was simple, it was clean, and straight to the point.”
Why the crude language? Fuck Cancer, as an organization, justifies its use of profanity simply: because it’s what everyone is thinking. Their home page reads, “Using these two words together gives cancer the visceral response it deserves … If there’s ever a time to use ‘fuck,’ it’s now.”

Both Levin and Fisher think the bracelet design will create an equally powerful reaction from buyers.

“It’s a constant reminder that every time you look down at it, whether you’ve had cancer yourself or if you know someone who has, that the fight is out there,” Levin said.
Though a relatively thin cuff at only a quarter-inch wide, Fisher said she is confident that the message is evocative enough to grab attention.

“It’s a conversation piece,” she said. “People look at it and it’s instantly starting a dialogue.”

The price is a bit lofty for some students at $225, with 20 percent of the proceeds going to Fuck Cancer. Additionally, Fisher maintains that it’s a question of quality—and with this kind of cause, she wanted to create something that would last.

“I want people to feel like they can wear it every day,” she said. “Maybe their mother has one of our more high-end pieces, with diamonds in white or yellow gold … but this bracelet is very simple to reach a younger audience and bring a different face to awareness.”

Awareness is ultimately what this entire collaboration is about. Fuck Cancer, as an organization, doesn’t conduct research of its own. Rather, its goal is getting young people involved in the movement of early detection. Its website teases, “We teach them about social media, how to use their Blackberries, and how to balance their diets. So why don’t we teach them something that can actually save their lives?”

For Cohen, the greater benefit of the collaboration is that College Fashionista’s “extensive reach to college students across the country helps us to further connect with our target Gen Y audience in a new and unique way.”

Levin explained that through this project, the website’s approximately 700 contributors—who hail from universities across the country, including Columbia—have been receiving an education of their own by supporting the cause through their own social media and from the site’s upper management.

“They’re the arms and legs of the project,” Levin said.

To buy the Fuck Cancer cuff, head to Jennifer Fisher's online store. Ninety percent of cancers are curable in stage one. To learn more about risk factors and simple self exams, check out Fuck Cancer's website.

arts@columbiaspectator.com | @abbymitchell92

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