October GOTM: Breast Cancer Survivor & Fashion Stylist, Angeles Almuna

Meet our October Girl of the Month, Angeles Almuna, a Miami-based stylist, artist, photographer, dancer, and overall powerhouse. Angeles is a breast cancer survivor who openly shares her journey on her social media channels and blog. Her posts are raw and honest, leading her to become an inspiration within the community. She has opened the conversation to the highs and lows of fighting Breast Cancer and emphasizes the importance of early detection and research. Her positivity and radiant energy can be seen through her posts. 

In 2016, she founded Fashion Strikes Cancer, a benefit to support breast cancer research as well as commemorate her battle with cancer and give hope to all those who are suffering, suffered, or have lost a loved one to cancer. This year's event will honor the Breast Cancer Research Foundation's Co-Chair, Kinga Lampert. Guests will get the chance to learn more about the Breast Cancer Research Foundation as well as enjoy a performance by Manu Manzo, music by DJ Michelle Leshem and more! 

Purchase tickets here.

Camille Dress in Primrose Pink

Tell us a bit about yourself? What’s your background?

I studied art with a specialty in painting and dance as well. I had the opportunity to travel and study abroad. I studied English in Cambridge, England, French in Geneva, Switzerland and Flamenco in Seville, Spain. All my life I have been surrounded by arts from music to stages, all arts and fashion. I came to Miami to pursue my career as a dancer; I danced in a contemporary dance company for many years. Photography was and is another of my passions, so I started taking pictures of events and friends and I ended up taking fashion pictures backstage during New York Fashion Week for 8 seasons. Meanwhile, I was doing backstage photography as well as working in a museum: the Lowe Art Museum, the oldest museum in South Florida, and am still working there. Everything related to arts and creativity has been part of my life, from styling, production, design, consulting and just being me.

You are very open about your fight against breast cancer, can you tell us more about your journey? Where are you at with it now? 

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2015. I found a lump on my left breast, it was 5cm big. I was in shock and terrified the day that doctors called me, “ Maria, I am afraid it is cancer, it's bad and next week your life is going to change."

My grandmother passed away from Breast Cancer in Spain, so it is in my family. My father, who is a doctor, always said to me and my sister to start early doing mammograms. But I made a mistake and I think that is the perfect answer to why I am very open about my journey. I went through a very difficult time when I decided to divorce. I was sad, depressed and very anguished, feeling that it was my fault. I didn't have a clear mind for a long time, so I put off getting my mammogram on time and waited almost 2 years to do the exam. The result of that was stage 3 cancer when doctors found what I found but also another lump of 2cm and a metastasis under my axilla where my lymph nodes are.

Being open with my journey is the only way to feel better, be a better person and teach my friends and the community that early detection is key and self-exams can save lives and avoid pain. Breast cancer sucks.

Now I am in my 2nd year of remission, grateful to be alive and happy and with my story, I can inspire others and maybe help my sisters from the same illness.
 

Talullah short Dress in Primrose Pink

Who were/are your biggest supporters?
Here in Miami, I don’t have a family but I have good friends and a great art & fashion community. When I told them that “ I have the big C….”, my creative people came to support me: artists, fashionistas, photographers, producers, etc. They came with the best energy to give me a hand in the worst moments of my life. Today and forever I will be so grateful because they are the real supporters, plus my friends and family from far and of course, my “followers”.
 
In 2016, you founded Fashion Fights Cancer, a benefit to support breast cancer research. Tell us a bit more about your event and why you think it is important to promote breast cancer awareness and raise money for research. 
I found Fashion Strikes Cancer, the new name because I wanted to say “Thank you” for all of those who helped me in those days that I could not talk, walk, eat, or move alone. Those days that I had panic attacks and some days that I wanted to die and I wanted just a companionship. My friends and this beautiful community gave me the strength to fight this illness and look forward to another opportunity to be happy again. The second and third years, we started with Miami Design District to benefit an organization and honoring a survivor.

    Research is the only way to end breast cancer, and if I can give a little something to help the cause, I will feel that my purpose in life finally has an answer. I could not be a mother because I was selfish but at least I can give my time and try to be generous with those who need it. I said before that I made a mistake and don't want more people to make the same mistake as me, so creating awareness is the only way to teach that early detection can save so many lives. Education is part of this awareness and listening is the best way to learn.

    Pea Short Dress in Primrose Pink

    Your Instagram feed is filled with beautiful outfits that you’ve put together. How would you describe your personal style? Did your style change after your diagnosis. If so, how? 

    My style is my style, it is very me. From vintage, volumes, sometimes like a boy or super feminine, I am a chic, creative lady with a touch of sophistication. When I was going through Breast Cancer I had to change my style because I lost all my hair, so I discovered a new Angeles who also lost all her confidence; I was looking like an alien. But because I am creative and I love to invent things with a lot of decoration, I created this big turban which became my signature style every day. It was big with different brooches, in different colors, and the bigger the better. I went to galas, to dinners and even to New York Fashion Week where they sat me front row. I went to the White House and I met Michelle Obama, Iris Apfel and more.
    The Turban was such a piece of a conversation that a local muralist artist, “Abstrk”, made a wall with my face, not just for my style, but also for the message that might be created with my social media, in telling my journey as real as I could. The mural is called the Living Room in the Miami Design District on North Miami Avenue and 41st Street. After the Mastectomy left my left breast completely flat, I had to adjust the way I am wearing certain tops and dresses with very soft bras, even today because I am still in pain.
    Talullah short Dress in Primrose Pink

     

    What led you to pursue a career as a stylist, were you always interested in fashion? 

    Oh yes! All my life I have been interested in fashion. From my mother who was so stylish, creative, elegant and very Spanish. I used to play in her closet when she was not at home, trying everything on like I was the owner of a boutique in Paris, very Chanel style! Being a stylist gives me so much creativity making stories through fashion and fabulous garments. This career came from my childhood, from my experiences with art, dance, so many stages where I performed and of course, from my mother.
    Who are some of your style icons/muses?
    Audrey Hepburn, Diana Vreeland, Marilyn Monroe, Diana Ross and of course, Iris Apfel.
      Lastly, what message would you like to promote to women in the community
      For me, the most important thing that women can promote in the community is being genuine, to give & receive, never stop pursuing your dreams and always always be humble. 

       

      The Pitusa Quiz

      Star sign?

      I am a Cancer.

      Preferred workout?

      Yoga and dance.

      Favorite vacation destination?

      Provence in the South of France and Ibiza. 

      Any morning rituals?

      Stretching my body and I say “I am grateful for another day”.

      Coffee, tea or smoothie?

      Coffee.

       Any guilty pleasures?

      Spaghetti Pomodoro with a Pinot Noir glass of wine.

      Favorite charity?

      Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

      Favorite cocktail?

      Whiskey Sour but I am a Champagne girl.

      Favorite quote? 

      “Where there is love there is life.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

       ........................................................................................

      This month we are proud to support Angeles and her journey by donating 20% of the sale price on all pink styles sold through the month of October to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Additionally, you save 20% on all pink styles with code THINKPINK at checkout.

      About the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

      The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer. We provide critical funding for cancer research worldwide to fuel advances in tumor biology, genetics, prevention, treatment, metastasis, and survivorship.

       


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