This beachwear could help with early melanoma detection

Who: Melanoma Canada, with No Fixed Address for strategy and creative.

What: “The Self-Assessment Suit,” a line of swimwear that lives at the intersection of style and safety by incorporating the ABCDEs (asymmetry, border, colour, diameter, and evolving.) that people should consider when assessing a mole as a potential indicator of skin cancer into its design. It comes as either a one-piece bathing suit or swim trunks.

When & Where: Melanoma Canada is making a limited number of the garments available through its Instagram channel. The non-profit is also promoting the apparel through a 60-second video running on its social channels, as well as digital out-of-home in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square running throughout May (which is also Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month).

Why: According to Melanoma Cancer, more than 80,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Canada each year. The leading cause of melanoma is overexposure to UV radiation from the sun or artificial sources, which makes swimwear a fit with the awareness campaign.

Melanoma is one of the most common cancer types in young adults 15-29, with diagnoses increasing 3% year over year. But while potentially deadly, the survival rate is high if it is detected early enough and, unlike many cancers, it is often clearly visible on the skin.

How: Both items in the Self-Assessment Suit use a ’90s era pastel colour scheme inspired by the ABCDE’s.

The program is also being supported by a retro-inspired video replicating the look and feel of the ’90s that drives people to the Melanoma Canada website.

“The fact that the carefree, fun-in-the-sun mentality we all embrace after winter could land you in a cold, sterile doctor’s office was what we wanted to play off,” said NFA vice-president, group creative director Rena Menkes Hula. “We don’t want to take people out of the moment, we need them to pay attention before it’s too late. So the idea to use design to reimagine a very effective diagnostic tool in the right place felt like a fresh and natural way to connect with our target audience and make them look.”

Earlier this year, the Canadian women’s underwear brand Love & Nudes introduced a bra specifically designed for Black women that helped them see and feel the early signs of the disease.

Chris Powell