The YOUth project is the result of a 6 month long work which involved 32 patients aged 15–24 years, 20 of whom were receiving treatment and 12 who had completed their course of therapy, who worked with the fashion designer Gentucca Bini to the creation of a fashion collection (sweatshirts and t-shirts) and to the design of a logo.
The patients worked as a real creative team: they shared their ideas, studied graphic textures, chose models, materials and colors to develop a top-quality end-product intended for their peers. The adolescents specifically created a trademark that wants to be the symbol of their fashion collection and the future logo of the whole Youth Project. The logo aims to convey the idea of a youth that is strong, its superscript meaning to the “nth power”. The word is slashed by a horizontal line that, for the young designers, represents the scar left by their Port-a-Cath (the catheter used for their chemotherapy infusions), which all young cancer patients share; an opening in their bodies not only for cancer treatments to go in, but also from which emotions, change, projects, colours, and dreams can be released. This slash has been stylised, but remains, as described by the young patients, “like something that cuts your adolescence in two, a wound, but also something that duplicates it, like an opportunity for rebirth”. The YOUTH logo is boldly stated on the front of all the sweatshirts. Three of the models have the word “fuck” on the back, to voice the rebellious spirit of adolescence, and also the patients’ anger with their condition.
Through fashion, the children in treatment tell their stories. With the choice of colors and of the logo, they tell what they have in their heart. They bring color and beauty to the hospital. It is also interesting to think about how the style that patients create in the hospital is meant also for their peers outside. The garments created on the basis of their taste, their values, their emotions are worn by healthy children, outside the hospital world.
A total of 11 different models were produced, which went on sale at a dedicated stand in the famous Rinascente megastore in Milan’s Piazza Duomo in December, 2019 (all proceeds destined to the Associazione Bianca Garavaglia Onlus, whichsupports the Youth Project).
The YOUth sweatshirt collection was made possible thanks to the support of the Associazione Bianca Garavaglia Onlus with the participation of the Associazione Dudù for You Onlus; and thanks to the precious collaboration of Rinascente di Milano Piazza Duomo, Colzani Camici, AIRILY printing house, VitamineD graphic agency.
The YOUth t-shirts are available on the website of the Associazione Bianca Garavaglia, https://www.abianca.org
The story of the YOUth fashion collection was published on the esteemed Lancet journal:
Pagani Bagliacca E, Silva M, Veneroni L, Casanova M, Gasparini P, Signoroni S, Massimino M, Ferrari A.YOUTH: the sweatshirt collection created by adolescent cancer patients on the Youth Project in Milan. Lancet Oncol. 2020 Mar;21(3):341-342. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30063-2.