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Trailblazer marks National Women’s History month

Stephanie Thomas
Stephanie Thomas Image credit: businessoffashion.com

Stephanie Thomas has a pretty good job, take a look at her CV and one of the first thing which jumps out at you is the fact her role is dressing people with disabilities in Hollywood.

Last month she used her talents by replacing iconic women of colour with women with disabilities for a photoshoot to celebrate Women’s History Month.

The shoot did not feature any assisted devices or wheelchairs, aiming at “eradicating negative perceptions of people with disabilities by challenging antiquated ableist constructs of the ‘ideal fashion customer'”.

Thomas write on her Instagram page: “See us, look in our eyes, and see what we have in common as opposed to treating us as second class citizens who need to be fixed.”

Disability is a subject close to her heart, born with missing digits on her right hand and feet Thomas fully understands the obstacles some disabled people can face when it comes to keeping up with fashion trends.

As her disability is barely noticeable Thomas has been challenged on the way she dresses, at college when competing for Miss Kentucky one such conversation inspired her to help others in a similar situation as herself.

“I never buttoned my left cuff on my shirts. My coach would say, ‘Why don’t you ever tuck in your shirt? Why don’t you ever button this? And I would look at my hand and say, ‘I don’t button my shirt because I don’t have a right thumb’,” Thomas told Forbes in a past interview.

This motivated her to launch a website in 2010 where Thomas shared style advice for people with disabilities, in 2015 the site was revamped under the name Cur8able which was behind the photoshoot in March.

“They (fashion industry) need to see people with disabilities as fashion customers…it’s attitudinal. Stop looking at us as if you’re doing us a freaking favour. To design with disability in mind creates innovation that goes beyond even what I could think of,” Thomas said in a second interview.

Stephanie Thomas performed as a Chicago Bulls cheerleader and captain two years prior to college.