Celebrity magazine

Disability Fashion Advocate Recreates Celebrity Magazine Covers Using Disabled Models

CHICAGO, March 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Easter Seals Ambassador Stephanie Thomasdisabled fashion designer and creative director at Los Angelesleads an initiative to change the way the world defines and views women with disabilities during Womens History Month in March. With a group of disabled women and photographer brad swonetzThomas recreates magazine covers of iconic women of color like Naomi Sims, Jennifer Lopez, Selena Quintanilla, Lena Horne and more. The campaign is launched on 8 Marchandrecognized as International Womens Day, to celebrate these BIPOC pioneers with disabilities as iconic game changers and story makers.

In 2004, Stephanie Thomas developed it Fashion style system for people with disabilities™ which guides her work as the founder of Cur8able™, a social enterprise using fashion styling as a tool to eradicate negative perceptions of people with disabilities (PWD). Thomas has been tracking clothing and retail trends for people with disabilities since the early 90s with one goal in mind: solving clothing issues. Although starting a business was not Thomas’s desire, in 2006, while working as a morning radio DJ, she became frustrated with the number of clothing options designed for pets and the lack of clothing options designed for wheelchair users. So she started The PJ Deejay Campaign, and it went on for a year, ending with a fashion show featuring women with and without disabilities, and Thomas’ inevitable journey as a social entrepreneur began. In 2010, she launched her first website on clothing with a disability. In 2015, she renamed that website to Cur8able.com, and it wasn’t until 2018 that she finally turned her life’s work into a business. Today, Cur8able, LLC has six ambassadors, Thomas dubs the Cur8tors,” who post weekly on Cur8able social media platforms. These Cur8tors are the women Thomas dressed and Swonetz photographed for the campaign in Los Angeles.

As a model for the shoot herself, Stephanie, a congenital amputee missing numbers, recreated the 1969 Life magazine cover of the pioneering model and wig and beauty entrepreneur. Naomi Sims. Thomas says this cover meant a lot to her, being born in 1969 and growing up in the 70s when there weren’t many dark brown-skinned women featured as role models. Sims blazed her own trail to become one of the most iconic role models of her time. After five years in the industry, she decided to enter the wig and beauty industry, carving out a niche by creating products for black women. Although different backgrounds, Thomas also considers herself an outsider who has fought to create space for people with disabilities in the fashion industry.

“This Cur8able production is an example of how I use fashion styling to challenge ableist perceptions. I do my hair to honor disabled bodies, not hide them, apologize for them, and not make make people feel sorry for them,” says Thomas.

Thomas was named an Easterseals Ambassador earlier this year, one of six women with disabilities who are national influencers and leaders in the disability community. They partner with Easterseals, one of the countriess leading nonprofit and advocacy service providers for the one in four Americans living with a disability today, to highlight issues affecting the disability community and influence change by providing representation and equal inclusion of those 61 million Americans.

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Driven by its goal to change the way the world defines and views disability, Easterseals makes deep and positive differences in peoples lives every day through its life-changing services and powerful advocacy. For over 100 years, Easterseals have been an indispensable resource for people with disabilities, veterans, seniors and their families. Together, our affiliates in communities nationwide serve 1.5 million people each year through a variety of services, including early intervention; autism services; inclusive childcare; medical rehabilitation, including physical, vocational and speech therapy; behavioral health services; workforce development programs; adult day services; respite; transport; and more. In schools, workplaces and communities, were fostering an environment where everyone is included and valued – which has a real and positive impact on all of us. Join us in making sure everyone, regardless of age or ability, is 100% included and 100% empowered. Learn more about www.easterseals.com.

SOURCE Easter Seals

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