Designer Xandria of House of Xandria has announced a unique fashion show for people with disabilities to either showcase their designs or model the designs. The event is slated for September 4 at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre.
In an interview on Saturday, Xandria said the fashion show is aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion especially of people who have physical disabilities in the fashion industry.
“Apart from stigma, I discovered that talent exists among persons with physical disabilities but what is lacking is opportunity and a platform to showcase their ideas and talent; hence, coming up with this idea,” she said.
Xandria said she believes bringing in different forces, hands on expertise and ideas yields positive results.
“We have partnered with Malawi Council for the Handicapped (Macoha) to bring in their designers, models and artists that are physically challenged to take part in the event by showcasing their talent,” she said.
The fashion designer added that they are also calling out to physically challenged designers, tailors, 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,” she said.
According to Xandria, the event has the potential to create job opportunities for people with physical disabilities and boost their confidence; hence, the event dubbed All Shades of Beautiful.
“We hope this event will break the stigma that surrounds people with physical disabilities by making everyone understand that every shade, every look and every condition is beautiful,” she said.
Reacting to the announcement, fashion enthusiasts were in support of the initiative.
Wongani Tomoka wrote on Facebook: “Wonderful initiative. End segregation among all people.”
In a separate interview, an aspiring fashion designer Ruth Mtila said it will be interesting to see what will happen at the fashion show since people are used to seeing slim models with no physical disabilities on the runway.
“I think if they pull this one off, then it will go a long way to change our mindset about who fits to be a runway model,” she said.