Monokinis allow women to go breastless

ANNIE STEVENS
Last updated 10:56 28/05/2014

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A Finnish company has launched a line of kick-ass swimwear called Monokini 2.0, designed specifically for women who've undergone mastectomies.

Inspired by her own struggle with the disease, the project's founder Elina Halttunen, who describes herself as a woman "with one breast and a passion for swimming", is hoping the designs will meet the needs of women like herself who haven't had reconstructive surgery and are embracing their new bodies - even if that means having one breast, not two.

Elin, seen here, went shopping but couldn't find a swimsuit suited to her body type.

"Having only one breast made finding fitting bikinis difficult," she said. "I thought that maybe there would be others out there like me, women who wanted swimwear that would not make them feel that they were missing a breast."

Of the Monokini 2.0 offerings, there are minimalist cuts and more elaborate ones, such as this one inspired by a gladiator's armour and this one reminiscent of the Birth of Venus. 

Nine breast cancer survivors modelled the stunning samples, with the resulting photo series due to be exhibited in Finland, Norway and Sweden as part of an art show. The women stand sexy, confident and proud.

To be able to walk into the swimsuit department and have a mastectomy-ready line would be a huge relief for many breast cancer survivors.

As Halttunen said, "I do not want to hide, I do not want to stop swimming, I do not want to undergo extensive plastic surgery operations, and I do not want to be forced to use the uncomfortable prosthesis on the beach. I want to feel as free and active as I did before my cancer."

The name Monokini 2.0 was inspired by Rudi Gernreich, who designed a swimsuit that exposed both breasts in the sixties.

"His Monokini was meant as a cultural statement," explains Vilma Metteri, one half of the Nutty Tarts duo.

"It was about a changing culture throughout all society, about freedom and emancipation.

"This is what we want to achieve with our Monokini 2.0. And we hope that if Rudi's Monokini made it easier for women to go topless on the beach if they wanted to, our Monokini 2.0 will make it easier for women to go breastless on the beach if they want to."

The swimsuits themselves are going to be produced through a crowdfunding initiative, which is due to go live this week on May 30. 

With perhaps hundreds of thousands of potential customers around the world and samples as gorgeous as these, we've no doubt the project will go off with a bang.

And who knows, perhaps we'll be seeing them on New Zealand shores by the time summer hits?

- Daily Life

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