I am Amanda Duquenoy, Product Director for Nicola Jane Mastectomy Fashion. I have been with Nicola Jane for over 20 years and am now responsible for the design and collation of our entire collection. 5 years ago, at the age of 37, I was diagnosed with breast cancer myself so I now know firsthand the importance of having beautiful underwear and swimwear available after breast cancer and the difference it can make.

What inspired you to become a mastectomy lingerie designer?
I started with Nicola Jane when I was 20 and really enjoyed being able to help women who were looking for underwear and swimwear to allow them to live their lives to the full again following breast cancer. As time went on I became frustrated with the limited choice available from existing manufacturers and started to come up with new innovative ideas that our customers were asking for and designed them myself. We found ourselves a manufacturer and it all started from there.

What makes your mastectomy range different from others?
I listen closely to our customers comments and regularly hold fit sessions to see our range in action. I was diagnosed myself 5 years ago and so I fully understand what a woman require from their underwear following breast cancer. I design from the heart and enjoy the process of design through to wearing the creations myself.

What’s your favourite lingerie brand (not your own!) and why?
Mimi Holiday. They are so beautiful, feminine and really sexy.

What advice would to give to an aspiring lingerie/swimwear designer?
To focus on their chosen market and research and understand your customers. Always keep your customers in mind when designing.

How do you get your inspirations for new collections?
By reading magazines, Lingerie Buyer and Underlines are good and researching the Internet. I also love In Style magazine. This gives me an idea about what is on trend and what new fabrics and colours are in for the following seasons. I then see how we can transfer trends into our mastectomy collection so our customers feel they are still able to buy fashion as well as their underwear staples.

Do you use paper and pencil to design your first draft or is it all done on computer?
I tend to draw my designs with pencil and paper. I then take them to our manufacturers to work up the computer designs.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a designer?
I would still be a scuba diving instructor!

What are you working on right now?
Our SS13 Collection. Working up some gorgeous, innovative new designs ready to be unveiled in January!

Find out more about Amanda’s creations online at Nicola Jane.

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