Disabled models star in New York fashion week show

By on Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Normally words like exclusive are apt to describe shows at New York Fashion Week.

However, this year, the non-profit organisation Open Style Lab, designed a show with inclusivity at its core, featuring fashion created specially for members of the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) community.

The show, named ‘Double Take’ took place on the first floor, in a fully accessible venue provided by the clothing brand Aritzia, biotech company Genentech and Open Style Lab, who created the clothes.

Looks included a pink suit with a jacket featuring hidden magnetic fastenings, easier to use than traditional buttons, and adaptive outfits such as a printed catsuit, worn by one of the show’s models Sawsan Zakaria.


She said of the show; “When people first look at somebody with a disability, they have these automatic assumptions about them, that’s the first take, and the second is us going down the runway, we are looking stylish, looking fabulous in clothing you can’t really tell is adaptive, which is what we want to start to go towards. It’s a representation of the fact that people with disabilities can be stylish, and can show their personality through fashion.”

‘Double Take’ was created by OSL to refocus fashion to reflect the needs of the wearer, and with one in four people in the U.S living with some kind of disability, it’s a disastrously underrepresented community in the industry.

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