Disabled models debut at London Fashion Week

LONDON • Disabled models made their debut on the London Fashion Week catwalk last Friday - "about time", as one campaigner put it.

Jack Eyers, who wears a prosthetic leg, and Kelly Knox, who was born with no left forearm, took to the runway for British luxury label Teatum Jones.

"It's important to get people to reconsider our relationship with the body in the luxury fashion sector," Catherine Teatum, one-half of the design duo, said backstage. "When you think there was a time when models of colour weren't cast for shows, that's bonkers. So we feel a little bit like that now."

The collection, which opened five days of shows in London, featured oversized coats and dresses, reconstructed with sheer layers, eyeleted seams and ties around the waist and legs.

Model Jack Eyers, who wears a prosthetic leg, on the runway for British luxury label Teatum Jones during London Fashion Week.
Model Jack Eyers, who wears a prosthetic leg, on the runway for British luxury label Teatum Jones during London Fashion Week. PHOTO: REUTERS

Eyers previously made history in February 2015, when he became the first male amputee to appear at New York Fashion Week, in creations by Italian designer Antonio Urzi. His lower right leg was deformed from birth and he made the decision to amputate when he was 16.

"When I lost my leg, I become unconfident, whereas fashion gives you that sense of confidence," he said.

His agent had previously put him forward for London shows, but with no luck. He put it down to many designers being "very British - they don't want to offend people".

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2017, with the headline 'Disabled models debut at London Fashion Week'. Print Edition | Subscribe