Disabled Models Fly the Flag for Equal Opportunity at New York Fashion Week

In many ways we can’t believe it’s taken so long, but we are happy to announce that disabled models are the toast of New York City after ruling the runway of Fashion Week. And here at Boon Models (one of the top emerging NYC modeling agencies), we couldn’t be happier to see the horizons of fashion broadening in the most positive way we’ve seen in years.

The show itself, which hit the mainstream media straight away from the minute it started, featured the world’s first male amputee model and several wheelchair users, displaying FTL Moda’s AW15 collection. Furthermore, it also incorporated an exclusive ‘Made in Italy’ theme, linking nicely to the origins of the organisers and designers.

The show was largely supported by various charitable causes, including Italian foundation ‘Fondazione Vertical’ (Vertical Foundation in English), who spread awareness and raise funds for the development of spinal chord injury treatment. Hence the uniting of disabled and non-disabled models on the catwalk, which successfully underlined a broader unity that is needed across the world. Another cause strongly involved was British-based ‘Models of Diversity’ who campaign for a wider selection of different types of model to be used in high fashion shows and campaigns.

The show’s producer Llaria Niccolini declared it to be one of the proudest moments of his career, having been given the opportunity to prove that ‘disability’ as a label, can in some instances simply be a ‘state of mind’ rather than a ‘state of being’. Furthermore, he went on to say that some of the most beautiful talents in the world have previously been going unrecognized because of this preconception. He also went on to state that working with the Vertical Foundation was one of the most eye-opening experiences of his life, not only because of witnessing how much hard work they do, but also embracing their notion that wheelchairs and prosthetics should be viewed more as accessories and valued additions to outfits, in terms of fashion.

The clothes themselves were designed by the innovative Italian designer Antonio Urzi, who has previously produced costumes for the likes of Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and Beyoncé. Urzi specifically commissioned personal trainer and amputee Jack Eyers to be involved, in order to display how someone can be incredibly physically fit and able to display clothes effectively, whilst at the same time technically having a disability. This message was also prominently displayed as female models in wheelchairs walked alongside non-disabled counterparts wearing the same outfits.

The overall theme of the collection displayed a broad spectrum, ranging from more traditional styles of motif-patterned dresses, branching off towards greater extremes such as a gold metallic leather bodysuits and futuristic silver chainmail dresses.

Is this the beginning of a fashion revolution? We definitely think so and, quite rightly, it seems the fashion world will be embracing disabilities with open arms in the future.

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