The fashion business is no stranger to taking diverse avenues. It’s a cut throat industry which judges the appearance over the heart. So when the two collided at New York Fashion Week barriers were broken down and heads were turned, the catwalk had a new surface to parade down…and this time it catered for wheels.
The FTL Moda’s AW15 show was the ‘in’ place to be this week, showing off the brands latest season on disabled models.
Jack Eyers (pictured above), a British personal trainer, became the first male amputee to walk down a catwalk. He lost his right leg at the age of 16 as a direct result being born with Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency. Jack described how surreal the experience was for him: “I can’t believe this is actually happening. To be the first male amputee model on a New York Fashion Week runway feels amazing - it feels like such a big deal.”
The amputee wore clothes by Antonio Urzi, who is no stranger to the fashion industry – he’s designed outfits for the likes of Britney Spears, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga.
FTL’s theme this year was ‘Made in Italy’; working in partnership with an Italian foundation (Fondazione Vertical) supporting research for spinal cord injuries, the show captured worldwide media attention.
disabled models at new york fashion week
Producer Ilaria Niccolini, being interviewed for a marketing website, said: 'It is a very significant moment in my fashion career, this opportunity to finally open the most recognised runways in the world (Mercedes Benz Fashion Week New York now, and in Milan Fashion Week in two weeks) to these beautiful talents, ready to show that disability is very often just a mental state by performing on the runway next to some of the best models on the scene.
'Working with Fabrizio Bartoccioni at Vertical Foundation has been a thoughtful and extremely motivating experience, that opened my mind completely and showed me that the wheelchairs or prosthetics are not more than "accessories", extensions of the dress, as Fabrizio often says.'
Hopefully after the show’s success hiring disabled models for prestigious events will not go out of fashion.
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