The world of fashion is as notorious as it is glamorous. Over the years we’ve seen superstars created on the catwalk, but we’ve also seen huge issues spill out into the public subconscious.
From the ‘heroin chic’ look of Kate Moss, that started the debate over wafer-thin models, to airbrushing in magazine editorials and on billboards to issues with people of colour being misrepresented and more recently, the debate over a lack of plus-size models. Yes, the world of fashion is divisive, to say the least.
More recently there has been a debate of a lack of disability being represented in fashion – but are things changing?
Disability in fashion
While we have seen countless people with disabilities pop up on catwalks and advertising campaigns over the last few years. You only have to look at brands like River Island and models such as Kelly Knox, who walked at London Fashion Week to see this.
However, it would appear that it’s still not the norm. In fact, a recent article in The Guardian by Niamh Ní Hoireabhaird, a wheelchair user, discovered that London Fashion Week wasn’t all that accessible this year.
However, the fashion world is catching up, which begs the question, could this help.
Fashion can help
Of course, if we see more disabled models on the catwalk, and within ad campaigns, then it will help to normalise people with disabilities within society itself.
Of course, there are a wide range of disabilities, and these need to be represented as best as possible. But, the more awareness there is, the better.
You only have to look at the positives around using plus size models or models who are older to see the impact that it could have. Meanwhile, if you look at fashion championing diversity, such as places like River Island and BooHoo with LGBT equality, you can see that fashion has a huge impact on what we see throughout society as a whole.
The bigger picture
This can then have a bigger impact for people with disabilities, with everything from wheelchair accessible vehicles from Allied Mobility, to seating areas everywhere, other than just the odd seat at theatres could become much more common.
While you may not think it, fashion and the ads we are served everywhere we go have a huge impact, so, by introducing different people in this one area could, and can, have a huge impact on our society, and the world, as a whole. Now, let’s get started.