Happy Friday everyone! New York Fashion Week was this past week, and for the first time in fashion history, a model in a wheelchair rocked the runway.
Danielle Sheypuk, a psychologist turned fashion model from New York, worked the runway during a Carrie Hammer show during Fashion Week, making herself the first model to grace any runway in a wheelchair. Sheypuk met Hammer at a cerebral palsy luncheon in 2013, and the two became buds. Although Sheypuk is a psychologist, she always had an interest in fashion, so she and Hammer bonded over their love of fashion. Hammer came up with the idea of having a show of “Role Models, Not Runway Models,” featuring “every day” women rather than typically trained models, and asked Sheypuk to participate.
The fashion industry has been doing more and more lately to break the standard of having a typical model involved in their campaigns and runway shows. Earlier this year, Diesel used wheelchair ridden model Jillian Mercado for a campaign, while model Kelly Knox, who was born without a forearm, was used in a fashion spread in British Vogue. Commercially, stereotypical beauty standards are also being questioned. As I mentioned here, Aerie recently launched an ad campaign in which they did not retouch any of their photos.
Sheypuk was the first model in a wheelchair in the history of the fashion industry to grace any runway. This first is a huge moment in the industry, and the fact that this debut was during New York Fashion Week, one of the largest known fashion events in the world, is huge. The modeling industry, which typically sets unrealistic, idealized standards of beauty, is more consistently featuring normal, relatable women as their models. Having models who look like the women and men buying the products makes the most sense logically, and the fact that this has been happening more and more often is incredibly significant and inspiring. The fashion industry is making changes, and it makes me excited.
Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for reading