Stylist Stephanie Thomas dresses people with disabilities in Hollywood. This year, in March, she decided to commemorate Women’s History Month with a photoshoot in which iconic women of color were replaced on magazine covers by women with disabilities.
To debunk stereotypes, these photos do not show women in wheelchairs or with assistive devices.
The photoshoot, Thomas writes on his Instagram, aims to “eradicate the negative perceptions of people with disabilities by challenging the outdated empowering constructs of the ‘ideal fashion client.”
“Look at us, look us in the eye and see what we have in common instead of treating us like second-class citizens in need of repair,” he further wrote.
Thomas, a congenital amputee with missing fingers and right toe, has been following fashion trends for people with disabilities for years. It was in 1993, when she was competing for Miss Kentucky as a college student, that her life took a turn thanks to her pageant coach.
“I never buttoned the left cuff of my shirts. My coach would say, ‘Why don’t you put your shirt on? Why don’t you ever button this? And he’d look at my hand and say, ‘I’m not buttoning my shirt because I don’t have a right thumb,’ ”Thomas said. Forbes In an interview.
Soon, the stylist set out to investigate clothing trends for people with disabilities. He then launched his first website in 2010 where he posted style tips. It was in 2015 that the website became known as Cur8able, through which he recently made the photoshoot.
“They (the fashion industry) need to see people with disabilities as fashion customers… it’s attitudinal. Stop looking at us like you’re doing us a fucking favor. Designing with disability in mind creates an innovation that goes beyond what I can think of ”, he also said in the interview.