Stylist Stephanie Thomas dresses people with disabilities in Hollywood. This year in March, she decided to commemorate Women’s History Month with a photoshoot replacing iconic women of color on magazine covers with women with disabilities.
Debunking stereotypes, these photos do not show women in wheelchairs or with assistive devices.
The photo shoot, writes Thomas on his Instagram, aims to “eradicate negative perceptions of people with disabilities by challenging archaic ability constructs of the ‘ideal fashion shopper'”.
“Look at us, look into our eyes and see what we have in common instead of treating us like second class citizens who need to be fixed,” she added.
Thomas, a congenital amputee who is missing fingers in her right hand and feet, has been following disability fashion trends for years. It was in 1993 – while competing for Miss Kentucky as a student – that her life took a turn, thanks to her pageant coach.
“I’ve never buttoned the left cuff of my shirts. My trainer was like, ‘Why don’t you ever button your shirt? Why don’t you ever button that? And I’d look at my hand and say, ‘I don’t button my shirt because I don’t have a right thumb,” Thomas said. Forbes in an interview.
Soon, the stylist began to research clothing trends for people with disabilities. She then launched her first website in 2010 where she posted style tips. It was in 2015 that the website became known as Cur8able, through which she recently did the photo shoot.
“They (the fashion industry) need to see people with disabilities as fashion customers…it’s about attitude. Stop looking at us like you’re doing us a fucking favor. Designing with disability in mind creates innovation that goes beyond even what I could think of,” she added in the interview.