First ever wheelchair user takes to the catwalk of New York Fashion Week
A doctor made fashion history when she graced down the catwalk in a wheelchair for New York Fashion Week.
Never-before-seen at one of fashion’s most important dates on the calendar, clinical psychologist Danielle Sheypuk didn’t let her disability hold her back as she modelled for designer Carrie Hammer’s collection.
‘‘I made the decision to cast ‘role models not runway models,” the bespoke designer told The Huffington Post.
“It is so important to me that women have positive body image and are empowered in work and their life. My line makes dresses to fit women. We don’t make dresses that women need to fit into,” she said.
Newbie model Danielle said people with disabilities are largely ignored in the fashion market.
‘‘People with disabilities are an untapped consumer market in terms of fashion.
"We read the magazines, shop in stores, but nothing is ever pitched to us,’’ she said.
She modelled a creative monochrome newspaper-print skirt, a black leather-sleeved top and a dangling beaded chain.
The New York designer said during her show everyone had "chills" and "left very empowered."
The psychologist felt natural and confident as she sailed down the runway.
‘‘I was just another model in a show, and that's exactly what I wanted,’’ she insisted.
And this wasn’t just a spur of the moment fashion engagement.
Danielle has plenty more dazzling fashion moments ahead as she is part of the Raw Beauty Project.
The fashion forward experiment involves high-profile photographers shooting captivating images of women with disabilities.
Thinking outside the box, it aims to reach out to those that love style but feel excluded.
The project can be seen online and will be exhibited in a Manhattan gallery in the spring.
Fashion week ends in New York tomorrow before the style parade moves over to London, Milan and Paris.