On Thursday, a slew of models in wheelchairs hit the catwalk for the NP Open World collection show. Open World is a nonprofit partnership that works to provide opportunities to people with disabilities. The models ranged in age, and they showcased everything from cocktails dresses and leather pants to pretty tulle headpieces—all while reaffirming that there's no one kind of model capable of being a Fashion Week star.
This isn't the first time the Moscow fashion community has put the spotlight on models with disabilities. Yahoo! Style reports that models in wheelchairs appeared during Russian designer Bezgraniz Couture’s Fashion Week show in 2016. And in 2014, Russian designers collaborated on a show called Fashion Without Borders and gave opportunities to models with physical disabilities.
Though these examples are promising, progress is slow. Sure, the fashion industry is making strides toward becoming a more inclusive space for an increasingly diverse set of people. A recent Fashion Spot report showed that the fall 2017 season was the most racially diverse in the industry's history.
But there's much more work to be done. Models of varying gender identities, sizes, ages, and levels of ability are not afforded as many opportunities as they deserve, leaving runways largely homogenous.
Here's hoping that the industry continues taking steps like these so that one day, this level of diversity and inclusivity can be the norm
This story originally appeared on Self.
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