Design for Disability: Celebrating Women & Fashion

On 16 May, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation Design for Disability Gala, hosted by Sotheby’s, marked a milestone in fashion’s quest for inclusivity. Led by the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, this premiere event was the culmination of a five-month competition between 35 students from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology to design fashion-forward outfits for women with disabilities. The five finalists were paired with two women with disabilities as their models and produced two outfits, which were unveiled at the Gala. The impressive roster of jurors included designer Thom Browne, Curator in Charge at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, Andrew Bolton, Academy Award-winning costume designer Ann Roth, disability rights advocate and model Dr Danielle Sheypuk and Dr Alette Coble-Temple, Ms Wheelchair America 2016. Guests enjoyed an evening of cocktails, silent and live auctions and passionate speeches, but the indisputable highlight was the runway show, where the ten models graced the stage and proved lead juror Browne’s poignant reminder to the audience to be abundantly true: “It’s not about difference. It’s really just about good design.” –Stephanie Sporn