Tomorrow tonight, the Xandria House of Beauty will host the first ever fashion show specifically targeting persons with disabilities both as models and designers. It is dubbed All Shades of Beautiful Fashion Show. The event will take place at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre who are partners of the event. Our Arts editor EDITH GONDWE caught up with Xandria for more
Q: First, tell us what inspired you to come up with this type of fashion show?
A: All Shades of Beautiful Fashion Show is an initiative started by House of Commons to promote inclusion in the fashion industry and to give people with some physical disabilities a platform to showcase their talents and skills.
I believe that bringing in different forces, hands-on expertise and ideas yields positive results.
We have partnered with Malawi Council against Physical Disabilities (Macoha) to bring in their designers, models and artists across Malawi to come and participate.
We have also partnered with others in the same industry whose major role is to groom the blooming artists so that they find the right base in the arts and fashion industry.
All this is to create a platform for special people to showcase their talents, to create business opportunities, job opportunities and other opportunities they can get through this and most importantly to show that disability is not inability.
Q: The fashion show is all inclusive as that it will include people with disabilities who in most cases are sidelined. How will you pull this off?
A: The main reason this fashion show is targeting people with physical disabilities to showcase their talent because you can agree with me that in the fashion and beauty industry, there is a big gap for such people to show their abilities, talents. We also want to overcome the stigma people have towards people with disabilities in association with fashion.
Q: Fashion is associated with glamour and pomp. Tell us more about what to expect?
A: We are set to give out the first of its kind type of show and everyone who loves fashion is welcome.
Q: Who else is working with you on this project?
A: We have Amaryllis Hotel, who are giving us the venue for free. We are also working with events planners Entertainers Promotions and Malawi Paralympics Committee.
Q: Any additional information?
A: Amaryllis Hotel is accessible to those with special needs from the parking lot to all the various other areas of the hotel so people with physical disabilities.
They have rooms fully equipped for those with special needs. The Amaryllis Hotel team saw it fit to sponsor this event in order to highlight how diverse the hotel is and show that they cater for everyone’s needs.
Amaryllis Hotel wants to be part of the community and thus want to make everyone feel included. As a brand their aim is to portray respect for people with special needs through recognising their full personhood and ensuring they have equal opportunities.
But most importantly, fashion lovers are assured of a fun- filled thrilling experience. This is more than just a fashion show. We hope to break stigma surrounding persons with disabilities by making everyone understand that every shade, every look and every condition is beautiful.n
PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY OF XANDRIA
Xandria: We hope to break stigma surrounding persons with disabilities