‘Live Strong’ bracelets become fashion trend

From the afro to Sean Comb’s “Vote or Die” T-shirt, people often take a symbol that represents a certain cause, and turn it into a fashion statement.

Today people of all ages, all over Tallahassee and all over the world are wearing yellow wristbands. The bracelets have been getting much attention, leaving many people wondering why these yellow rubber band-like bracelets are gracing the wrists of many.

“Lance Armstrong bracelets are just for fashion,” said Ola Opara, a junior English student at Florida State University. “A lot of people want them because a lot of people have them.”

The wristbands represent cyclist Lance Armstrong’s Cancer survival. The six-time winner of the Tour de France was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer in October 1996.

Upon being diagnosed, he started the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The foundation was designed to educate Cancer victims, and to help them live strong.

The LAF teamed with Nike and introduced the yellow wristbands May 17 with the “Live Strong” logo on them.

Armstrong wore the wristband in his last Tour de France victory. It was also seen on many athletes at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

According to Opara, an employee at Governor Square Mall’s Lady Foot Locker, people began to inquire about the bracelets more after the Olympics.

Opara, a 20-year-old from Fort Lauderdale, said she got the bracelet because the proceeds support cancer research, but she noticed many customers got them for other reasons.

“You know it because they might say ‘do you have those yellow bracelets that everybody has,’ or ‘my daughter was looking for the yellow bracelets’,” Opara said.

Both Opara and Dwight Benton, an employee at Foot Locker in Governor Square Mall, agreed that many young people bought them for fashion purposes.

According to Benton, they received the bracelets about two or three months ago and they sold quickly.

“They sold out in the first couple of weeks,” Benton said.

Also on sale at Lady Foot Locker are shirts that include the pink ribbon that symbolizes Breast Cancer. Opara also purchased a shirt.

“I purchased the shirt because my aunt survived Breast Cancer and proceeds go to the American Cancer Society,” said Opara. “But the shirt sales have gone up since the wristbands came out,” Opara said referring to the pink wristbands that are now being sold in support of Breast Cancer.

Proceeds from the Live Strong wristbands go to the LAF.

The wristbands can be purchased on the foundation’s Web site for $1 in groups of 10, 100 and 1,200.

Whether the wristbands are being purchased for fashion purposes or to support the cause, one thing is certain, the demand definitely exceeds the supply in Tallahassee.

According to the LAF Web site, the foundation had sold 20 million bracelets.

Contact Vineta Woodum at famuanlifestyles@hotmail.com