Wearers Rocking their Disabled Bodies

  • Letícia Frasson de Toledo
  • Vanessa Recine
  • Adan Farias

What is the first thing you think of when you get dressed in the morning? Do you think about the struggle of actually getting dressed or wearing an outfit that is both cute AND accessible? 18% of adults in the United Kingdom have a disability… that is 10 million people. This lack of representation truly hides how many people live with a disability. Disability doesn’t have a look or age and is often the fashion industry’s second to the last conversation. Wearers Rocking their Disabled Bodies was an eye-opening conversation on how the world of fashion needs to change to accommodate the needs of disabled people to enable them to fully participate in society. We need brands to make the clothes that we wear functional for people and actually listen to what is needed, not use disabled people as marketing tools for diversity and inclusivity. About our guest speakers Moderator Dr. Chantrise Sims-Holliman is an award-winning former educator, motivational speaker and author Since becoming partially paralyzed and a bilateral amputee in 2018, she’s made it her life’s work to help women overcome obstacles and one of her biggest challenges right now is finding clothes that are both cute AND accessible! Monika Dugar graduated with her BA (Hons) in Fashion Design & Development at London College of Fashion in 2018. She interned at Mary Katrantzou and Paul Smith where she learnt the basics of realizing her skills in fashion and her interest in research for adaptive clothing. Usha Dugar Baid is CIMA qualified and completed her Executive MBA from Said Business school at Oxford University. She has held multiple roles in strategy, finance, and mentoring for start-ups. Monika Dugar & Usha Dugar Baid both became involved in researching the condition after their father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 8 years ago. The hand tremors, stiffness and slow movement associated with Parkinson’s disease made the dressing routine pesky and difficult for him. During this time, Monika was studying and took this as a project for her final year collection at London College of Fashion. It was a mostly a self-directed study involving key observation on the issues and how to make clothing easy. This was articulated in the designs, a process of innovation, problem-solving and empowering them leading to the launch of [R E S E T]. Caprice-Kwai is a 20-year-old fashion student and model from London. She has lived with a disability since the age of 10, which has shaped who she is today. Growing up in a society where disabilities and mobility aids are not seen often within the fashion industry, Caprice-Kwai wanted to challenge the status quo and became a model to show the world that everyBODY is beautiful. Andrea Ruano is a Spaniard who moved to Manchester in 2018 to pursue a career in Graphic Design and Photography. In 2007 she survived an Ewing Sarcoma and recently underwent a leg amputation. She advocates for cancer survivors across Europe. She’s passionate about fashion, proving that being disabled doesn’t mean having to look boring. About Wearers Festival Wearers Festival is a permanent multidisciplinary festival that explores and celebrates the intersections of dress, culture and identity among the diverse communities of London, the UK and the world. About the Vestiary series This series encompasses conversations around specific corporeal and dress topics by groups of guest speakers, mainly UK-based. The topics and guests are decided by the Festival committee, but we consider proposals from interested candidates and organisations.