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Behind the Art of the Scarf

Susan G. Komen and Talbots are joining together for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of the continued fight this October, Talbots worked with internationally-renowned artists to design a limited-edition scarf collection with a portion of proceeds benefitting Susan G. Komen and its Breast Care Helpline*. Full of colorful metaphors and meaning, the scarves are meant to evoke emotion with vibrant symbols of hope, resilience, strength and courage for all who wear it.

Komen recently sat down with two of these talented artists – Martha Napier and Lulu DK – who have both been closely affected by breast cancer, to learn about the inspiration behind their unique designs. Here is what they had to say**:

Martha Napier

Susan G. Komen (SGK): How did you become involved with Talbots and The Art of the Scarf?

Martha Napier (MN): I became involved with the Talbot’s Art of the Scarf project through my connection to breast cancer. My mother is a survivor and an artist, so to say she has inspired my work for this project is an understatement. Her bravery in her fight against breast cancer is something that I will always be amazed by – and her artistic style has heavily inspired my own.

SGK: What was the design of your scarf inspired by?

MN: Regarding my inspiration, my mom is a breast cancer survivor. What I think is so interesting about her journey, is she says that the year she underwent treatment, was not her worst year by a ‘long shot.’ She credits this to the fact that her friends surrounded her with love, cards, visits, trips to treatment, etc. She says these same friendships have lasted 20 years and are ‘ever strong.’ For her, it’s about the friendship and support of women. Whether you’re encouraging a friend to practice prevention, look out for ‘number one,’ or just be by their side.  So, for my design, you will see a collection of joyous, colorful, strong women. A lot of my work shows fashionably fierce women, like this, and I often hear from my clients ‘oh look! It’s me and my girlfriends!’ No matter if they look like the illustrations or not, somehow women from all walks of life seem to identify with my colorful fashion girls. 

SGK: What is your goal in participating in The Art of the Scarf as an artist?

MN: My goal is to create a fabulous and beautiful scarf that makes women of all walks of life feel confident and empowered when they wear it. I have always been a big believer in accessories – and the power they possess to transform an outfit, and thus, the woman wearing them. My design is fashion forward, colorful, joyful and optimistic. I hope it makes women smile – and as a famous fashion icon once said, “Happy girls are the prettiest.” -Audrey Hepburn

SGK: How have you been impacted by breast cancer?

MN: Along with my mother being a breast cancer survivor, I am also a mother to two little girls – so women’s health and empowerment is especially important to me. 

SGK: Has Susan G. Komen helped you or your mother in any way throughout your breast cancer journey?

MN: When my mom was actively fighting breast cancer, I think she always found support. Specifically, her group of girlfriends, and organizations such and Susan G. Komen made sure she knew that she was supported and not alone in the fight. 

Lulu DK


Susan G. Komen (SGK): How did you become involved with Talbots and The Art of the Scarf?

Lulu DK (LDK): This will be my second scarf that I have had the pleasure of doing for Talbots. I am an artist and designer and since my mother passed away of breast cancer, the relationship and desire to create “An Art of the Scarf” piece for Talbots was natural.

SGK: What was the design of your scarf inspired by?

LDK: My art and this scarf are inspired by my mother and “mother nature,” my two biggest sources of inspiration.

SGK: What is your goal in participating in The Art of the Scarf as an artist?

LDK: To draw [attention to] early [detection and] prevention [of] breast cancer, and to help raise money to find reliable cures.


*Talbots will donate 20% of the net proceeds (at least $12) to Komen from each “The Art of the Scarf” Collection item sold from September 23, 2019 to October 31, 2019 in support of the Susan G. Komen Breast Care Helpline, with a guaranteed maximum donation of $50,000.

**some answers have been lightly edited for clarity.