The name Libby Haan may not ring a bell—unless you're in fashion circles. She's a longtime PR veteran, having spent two decades repping designers such as Jil Sander, Marni, Hussein Chalayan and MSGM, among others (many others). But this isn't a story about her A-list Rolodex and packed CV; this is a story about how, in 2013, things came to a halt when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Some things remained the same, like the churning cycle of fashion shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris; others, not so much. Like she couldn't wear the same bras before. Where once she avidly sought out pretty lace underwires, now those same beloved styles were a non-starter. They were painful, uncomfortable… Then came her ah-ha moment, fueled by her natural go-getter energy.
Last year, Haan launched her own label, Who Shirt Company, featuring super-soft (and supremely comfortable) tops with a built-in shelf bra—the perfect layering piece to wear under, say, a great jacket that still feels luxurious. "This isn’t just about how you’ll feel, although you’ll feel pretty damn good—no more struggling with straps, no more readjusting," Haan writes on her site. "It’s about simply being who you are."
Inspired by the letter to herself on her site, we asked the PR maven-turned-entrepreneur to write another, this time addressing her recently diagnosed self. Read her moving missive below and share it with friends, family, loved ones who could use a reminder that they, too, can be breast cancer champions.
Libby Haan's Letter to Myself
The distance from that phone call you received on the front porch of the house on Creamery Road in late July 2013 continues to widen. Isn’t that something? “I’m sorry, it’s cancer,” or whatever Dr. LaJoie actually said. The time stopped then went lightning-fast then slowed to the crawl of recovery. You still remember not bathing for the 12 days of one of the eight hospital stays and relish each and every time warm water cascades down your back. Isn’t that something, too? I love the way you know cancer is a signpost on the road of your life. It will remain there, but further and further out of view with every passing day. Now that’s really something!
Happy to see you making the most of everything that comes your way, good and bad. Also, happy for your new-ish motto: Don’t try, Libs… Learn, then do.