Fashion and Disability

Jumpers on a rail


The fashion industry is a very powerful industry as it instructs society on what we should and shouldn’t be wearing, the latest era to be revisiting, whom from an array of celebrities we should be inspired by, what staples we all need in our wardrobe, but most of all and by far most important, it gives every single person the vital sense of belonging. However this does not seem to apply to disabled people, I don’t think disabled people should be defined by their disability and I think everyone’s differences should be strongly embraced.

Promote inclusion

The fashion industry should promote inclusion and not the exclusion of people with disabilities. As a sociality we spend a long time dwelling on the significant differences between people and analysing people’s imperfections instead of embracing them. The portrayal of the human body in fashion is strongly based on societies view of what is perfection and this is questioned by many people, due to the lack of representation of all groups of different people, however one group which is never really portrayed is that of people with disabilities. There are more than 1 billion people in the world living with some form of disability and yet they or that percentage is not represented in the fashion and beauty industries.

Everyone wants to be fashionable

The fashion industry should try a lot harder to include people with disabilities and consider them when designing clothes, as everyone wants to be fashionable and have the chance to express themselves freely using clothing as the medium if they wish. Therefore I feel more time should be taken to consider many different target audiences and cater for everyone. The fashion industry also needs to realise that by excluding many different groups to people they are orchestrating an old fashioned and out dated version of reality and need to focus more on their audience.

Models of Diversity

In today’s ever changing world people want to see models and people who are similar to them as this gives them confidence to express their style. There are many campaigns to try and give disabled people a larger voice in the fashion world, for example, ‘Models of Diversity’. This Company advocates for more diversity in models used in the fashion industry and demands that the fashion and marketing industries recognise women of all body types, whether they are abled or disabled people. I think this is a very positive campaign as it challenges the norms within sociality and allows everyone to have a voice and promotes equality affectively. May we build on this, and see disabled people in every walk of life, treated as beautiful, equal, desirable, individual and followers of fashion.