In a liquid navy dress with a killer deep-V neckline and exposed back from Michael Lo Sordo, actress Ana de Armas kicked various butts as James Bond’s sidekick in the film No Time To Die, and with his latest creation the designer has another insidious villain in his sights. Lo Sordo is the latest Australian fashion identity to collaborate with enduring women’s fashion brand Witchery for their annual White Shirt Campaign, which has raised more than $14 million for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) since 2000.
“With the Bond dress there is a feeling of strength,” Lo Sordo says. “I want people to feel empowered when they wear my white shirt for Witchery. They will be wearing something that is simple in style but is part of a big and important message. I have had family members that have been ill from this.”
For the classic long-sleeved shirt with round hemline, point collar and button-down front, Lo Sordo replaced Bond girls such as Pussy Galore, Honey Ryder and Xenia Onatopp on his mood board with equally strong and stylish Australian women, such as Maggie Tabberer and Ita Buttrose.
“I wanted to find a way to speak to the Witchery customer with a piece that was pared back, no fuss and classic. And when you think of classic, women such as Ita and Maggie T come immediately to mind.”
Last year Toni Maticevksi was the first designer to collaborate with Witchery on the White Shirt Campaign, creating a structured shirt which had to go into reproduction following strong sales.
“It was the fastest-selling white shirt in the campaign’s history,” says Witchery managing director Simon Schofield. “We are hoping for a similar response to Michael’s shirt and are so grateful that he was willing to work with us.”
In 2019 the White Shirt Campaign raised $1.4 million, with COVID-19 contributing to lower figures in 2020 with $335,600 raised and in 2021, where $537,700 was donated to the OCRF.
Through the campaign Witchery is the single largest fundraiser for the OCRF, which draws attention to the sixth most common cause of all cancer deaths in females. With no early detection test for ovarian cancer, it has a lower survival rate than both breast and cervical cancer.