“As a disabled person it’s important to feel confident with your image [and] fashion is a big part of this,” stated David Proud, the UK actor who plays the character Adam Best in the popular television series Eastenders.
So much conversation and activism related to the fashion world today focuses on fair representation of folks of all sizes and races, but we can’t forget that if we’re talking about genuine inclusion, fashion needs to encompass people with disabilities as well. On October 22, Fashion with Passion, the first-ever fashion show featuring models and designers with and without disabilities took place in the UK. Hammersmith and Fulham Action on Disability (HAFAD), a non-profit organization that promotes equality for people with disabilities, proudly hosted the diverse show at Taste Restaurant in West London. The event’s organizer and HAFAD’s Fundraising Administrator, Zubee Kibria explained her motivations for creating Fashion with Passion: “As a disabled person myself, I wanted to show the world that disabled people can look as glamorous as non-disabled people.”
In addition to David Proud’s participation as a model in the show, HAFAD also had the support of other special guests, such as soap star Kelly Marie Stewart, Lara Masters from Britain’s Missing Top Model, and the award-winning Swedish designer Amelia Ursache who designs for WheelieChix-Chic. Other supporting brands included ASOS, John Smedley, Full Circle, Clan Douglas Cashmere Studio, La Mack London, and Laura Fox.