With both New York and London Fashion weeks gaining fantastic media coverage as well as a huge public following over the last few weeks, I have hardly looked up from the pages of Grazia and away from the gorgeous (and sometimes a little strange) clothing that has been showcased from designers worldwide. I could talk about the garments themselves for a year and a day, but what has really excited me more than everything else combined is the appearance of the first disabled woman to ever ‘walk’ the catwalk at New York Fashion Week in a wheelchair.
The stunning Dr Danielle Sheypuk PhD, who is a New York based clinical psychologist graced the runway on February 6th wearing an outfit from designer Carrie Hammer and making world history. Dr Sheypuk is quoted as saying ‘I feel like the industry has gotten more accepting of diversity but you never hear of a model in a wheelchair and it’s just ludicrous’.
Disabled role models such as Dr Sheypuk, the PUSH girls and other sexy wheelchair bound sirens can only strengthen what the people who are in wheelchairs themselves have known all along. It is us who should be the focus of peoples attention, and the wheelchair is just a necessity for getting around. We are red blooded men and woman with the same thoughts and desires as everyone else. Of course we’d want to look good!
Here are two of my ‘wheelchair fashion’ outfits that I have featured recently. Taken in a hospital waiting room and my front room, the setting is a little less glamorous than the New York catwalks. That having been said, with high profile role models on the pages of magazines, and everyday people such as myself pushing for fashion that is accessible for all, I feel very confident that 2014 will not be the last time we will see differently abled models gracing the catwalks .
Next month I am fortunate to be attending an event in the Better Lives Lecture Series, which is covering everything from ageism to racism in the fashion industry. If you’re a fashionista and a campaigner for diversity, please do look at the link for the series of lectures, based in London. I myself will be attending the Ablism in fashion lecture, provided I can a) save some pennies and b) negotiate the tube system. I am so excited, as this is something I am really passionate about, and I would love to be able to report back to my readers. Here’s to a more fulfilling, fashionable and fun 2014 and beyond for everyone who loves looking good, regardless of age, race, ability or size. Rock on!