The fashion world can at times seem like a shallow and judgmental industry, but one Italian fashion company is working hard to amend that impression. FTL MODA enlisted a group of disabled models to strut in the Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week runway show on Sunday, Feb. 15. The company teamed up with Fondazione Vertical, an Italian research organization for spinal cord injuries.
Some of the catwalkers were amputees, while others were bound by wheelchairs or walked on canes — but they didn’t let their physical ailments get in the way of making a bold political (and fashion!) statement.
Modeling a futuristic updo and silver eye makeup, one of the models sported a sheer lace jumpsuit with a plunging neckline. Another model in a wheelchair looked ladylike in a bold maroon Hendrik Vermeulen ensemble that featured a painted skirt.
One catwalker, who was missing part of her arm, strutted in a black cutout outfit and her muscular body was spray-painted silver. A male model hit the runway in slouchy pants as he walked on a prosthetic leg.
FTL MODA’s moving showcase follows American Horror Story actress Jamie Brewer’s strut during the Carrie Hammer “Role Models Not Runway Models” show on Thursday, Feb. 12, where she became the first woman with Down syndrome to walk at New York Fashion Week.