Meet the stylist for disabled people
Clothes shopping can be a bit of a nightmare if you have a physical disability, but thanks to disabled stylist Stephanie Thomas there are fashionable choices out there making the fashion world accessible for all.
Thomas knows only too well how difficult it can be for disabled people finding suitable clothing, being an amputee herself it was a challenge she had on a regular basis.
Which is why she took matters into her own hands and launched Cur8able, a styling consultancy for disabled people and those who are chronically ill.
“I have three toes on one foot and four on the other. I was born without toes, and I had surgery on my arm where they took bones in order to develop toes for me, and so I have to have closed-toe shoes,” says Thomas. “I know what it’s like to go into a store and not be able to find footwear, and have this gorgeous dress in mind but just not be able to find sexy closed-toe sandals,” Thomas told Yahoo News.
“My styling system guides me. Make sure it’s accessible, make sure you’re not hurting yourself, and make sure you love it. It’s not just something that I made for other people; it also helps me. And it helps everyone from a person with dwarfism to a person with chronic illness. It can help anyone.”
When sussing out suitable clothes for clients Thomas takes a number of points into account such as items without fasteners and don’t have zips situated at the back.
“People in fashion often consider the pulls or the looks that I put together to be pedestrian, [and] that’s kind of an insult. It’s one that I wear with honour, though,” Thomas said.
“People want to get dressed in what they want to get dressed in. And even if it doesn’t meet the standards of the industry, if I can make someone happy, if a shirt makes someone smile, if a frickin’ pair of shoes where their swollen foot is not hanging out the shoe and they feel like they have dignity and they can straighten their back, I don’t care what other people have to say. I’ll be ‘pedestrian’ all day.”
Thomas is making a change to disabled people’s lives, a subject very close to her heart.
“We need to change how disability is viewed,” she highlighted. “And that’s what I hope, more so than anything, my work is doing.”
[ You can follow Stephanie Thomas on Instagram ]