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Manchester hosts diversity fashion show

a model from the friendship circle
a model from the friendship circle Image credit: manchestersfinest.com

A fashion show taking place in Manchester will celebrate the city’s diversity when disabled people strut down the catwalk in September.

The event sees fashion giant Whispering Smith teaming up with North West charity The Friendship Circle to host a very special two-day show.

Rohina Kumar, Director of Whispering Smith, told Manchester Finest: “We are proud to support The Friendship Circle and the important work that they do. Fashion and clothing should never be a barrier, and we have made sure to adapt our styles so that all of those taking to the catwalk can feel at their most confident. We are also proud to be providing funds that will allow the Friendship Circle to continue their lifeline work.”

Mimi Lyons, Fundraising Director of The Friendship Circle, said: “The Friendship Circle campaigns for awareness and inclusion of people with disabilities allowing them to be seen for who they are and not how they look.

“The fashion show encapsulates what The Friendship Circle is all about, embracing diversity, and breaking down the stigma associated with people with disabilities. Our vision is of a community where everyone is respected, included, and accepted. We believe that fashion should be for all people with ability, no matter what shape or size.”

Hannah Mendell, who was born with Klippel Trenaunay Weber Syndrome, was bullied at school because of her rare form of disability.

She is now a member of The Friendship Circle and is one of the models taking part in the show.

Mendall said: “I love clothes, I love fashion but never thought it was a world that was open to someone like me. Growing up, I was always scared of people judging me because I looked different and have a learning disability. To be given an opportunity to celebrate who I am in front of so many people is a dream come true. I’m so excited.”

Another model taking part is Claudia Edelman, who gained her confidence after being invited to walk down the catwalk.

She said: “Before I joined The Friendship Circle, I was often lonely and bored. They were there to pick me up and set me up with a buddy who supported me emotionally and introduced me to other people like myself who also have Cerebral Palsy. Taking part in the Fashion show has given me a confidence I never knew I had.”

The Fashion show will take place at the Hilton Suite in Prestwich, September 14-15.