Gemma Flanagan from Models of Diversity writes for ABLE2UK telling us about the prestigious work the charity carries out…
It is so hard to believe that in 2015, we are still having to fight against discrimination and inequality. But this is exactly what we at Models of Diversity are doing. Angel Sinclair (CEO) started up the Not for Profit organisation in 2008, and since has been tirelessly campaigning for more diversity within fashion. At Models of Diversity, we believe that regardless of age, size, shape, gender, ethnicities and abilities everyone should be and feel represented within fashion.
Since the beginning Models of Diversity have had huge successes, gaining momentum each year, expanding and setting our sites on new ways to break down the boundaries within the fashion industry. Angel, supported by her PA Sarah O'Rourke, together with the are all passionate about changing the 'face' and the whole dynamics of the fashion industry, are making waves and are known worldwide for the work we are doing and our whole ethos.
In the last 12months alone we have had massive achievements. We have had models snapped up by agencies, modelling for well-known brands and two of our disabled models, Elesha Turner and Jack Eyers even making news worldwide walking in New York fashion week as well as Jack also in Milan fashion Week. Jack has also recently been on the front cover of Men's Health magazine, which is a massive achievement, and just goes to show that models with disabilities are not and should not be held back or over looked in any way. We have produced hugely diverse catwalks at amongst others The Ideal Home Show, and most recently a whole day of fashion shows at Shepherd's Bush Market in which we not only had our beautiful models walking but also our amazing celeb supporters Gail Porter and Sandi from Gogglebox. In anything we do we show exactly why there is a need for diversity within fashion and each one of our models are chosen for their beautiful individuality in whatever form that is.
Our latest campaign is fighting for equality for disabled models and is headed up by our Director Chelsey Jay. As a disabled model herself, the realisation that disability is completely ignored on the whole within fashion in the UK dove the need for something to be done. Together with fellow disabled models Elesha Turner, Katie Knowles, Gemma Flanagan. With the support of Kate Green MP and Baroness Hussein-Ece, Chelsey launched the #disabilityfight4fashionright petition, which is calling for disabled models to be used alongside regular models. Currently 1in6 people within the UK living with some form of disability yet nowhere near this ratio is applied within fashion, meaning atleast 1 disabled model would be used in every 6 models.
There is so much diverse beauty in the world which doesn't always fit in to today's current ‘fashion standards’. In ignoring the diversity, the fashion industry is not fully representing its consumers, who at the end of the day are who keep the industry alive. Change will happen, and at Models of Diversity we are proud to be at the forefront of it.
For more information on Models of Diversity:-
#Disabilityfight4fashionright Petition Link - https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/109259
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