Dame Deborah James designs a range of clothing with a message of optimism


Dame Deborah James has revealed she has designed a range of clothing which will be available to shoppers later this year. The cancer activist, who is at home receiving end-of-life care, took to Instagram to share a piece from the collection on Thursday (May 19).

BBC podcaster Dame Deborah says she has been working on the collection for several months with In The Style. Although the main collection “isn’t quite ready yet”, she says there are already “a whole series of beautiful floral dresses” – including one she wore for her visit from Prince William to return her the Queen’s honor on Saturday (May 14).

The latest piece she posted to her Instagram account – to share with her 780,000 followers – is a t-shirt with “Rebel Hope” printed on it. From now on, the T-shirt is available for purchase, she announced, from this link, 100% of profits going to Cancer Research UK.

In her post, she wrote, “I’m so excited to finally be able to share (at least part of) a project I’ve been working on for several months now. With the @inthestyle I created and designed a collection of beautiful clothes for all of us to look good and feel good!!!

“The main collection isn’t quite ready yet, although some of you may have noticed recently that I’ve been wearing a whole slew of beautiful floral dresses – which I can confirm have been worn on my visit from Prince William!

“I can’t tell you how this partnership got me through my hospital stays and kept me away from cancer. For years I always talked about ‘Dressing to Feel Better’ and for the past few months, all the ups and downs, going in and out of the hospital, dressing up in nice clothes and putting on Lippy has made a difference in my journey.

“Today, however, as a sneak peek, I wanted to share something really special….. As you all know, I’ve always had a quote close to my heart…”Rebellious Hope” so @inthestyle have kindly agreed with me to release an exclusive limited edition T-shirt in aid of @bowelbabefund which can be ordered through the @inthestyle app NOW, with 100% of the profits (minimum £7.08 per t-shirt) from the sale of each going directly to the Bowelbabe Fund for Cancer Research UK.

She adds, “I’m so thankful for the wonderful @inthestyle team and all of you for your support so far! I added a link to the tshirt on my stories.

I can’t wait (or sadly I’ll leave my family and ITS) to share the rest of the collection, which I’m also delighted to say the plan for this collection is that all proceeds will be in aid of the Bowelbabe Fund for research on cancer in the UK. Know that I had so much fun designing and organizing everything and I hope you have as much fun wearing it x”

For the past five years, Dame Deborah has been undergoing treatment for stage 4 bowel cancer. She has raised the profile of the disease by working on the You, Me and The Big C podcast for the BBC and writing newspaper articles for The Sun, among others.

But on May 9, she announced that the treatments she was undergoing were no longer effective. Her medical team and her family decided, with her, to move to her parents in Woking, Surrey. She has currently raised over £5million for cancer research in a fundraiser launched when she announced she was receiving end-of-life care.

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