The Fashion Show

Introducing a first-of-its-kind fashion show, with start-to-finish SMA community involvement, that aims to increase disability visibility, break down stereotypes and champion adaptive fashion.

SMA community members led the program from beginning to end - conceptualizing the message, collaborating with design fellows at Open Style Lab (OSL) on garment adaptations, and walking or rolling the runway as a prelude to New York Fashion Week. Through this show, the SMA community is inviting the world to do a double-take, not because of their disabilities but because of their style and individuality, challenging the stereotype that people with disabilities want to blend in or erase their differences. Double Take also prompts the audience to see people with disabilities occupying a space that's often shut off to them.

The Participants

  • James


    Singer / Songwriter

    Pink suit with a jacket featuring hidden magnetic front closure to create the look of buttons without the challenge of fastening them. Howling wolf beadwork at his back pays homage to his singing career.

  • Shane and Hannah

    Shane and Hannah

    Social Influencers / Husband and Wife

    Shane's purple velvet suit jacket has stretch panels at the elbows to facilitate bending and invisible zippers for separating the sleeves and back for easier dressing. Matching seated-fit pants incorporate stretch to counter the stiff velvet material.

  • Sawsan


    Model / Actress

    One-piece halter printed catsuit tailored to fit her unique proportions and styled with a custom-made chainmail belt. Matching boot coverings created from excess fabric to create a continuous look.

  • Tabi


    Singer / Coder

    Green custom gown created from lightweight fabric to drape well and avoid bunching at midsection when seated.

  • Amber-Joi and Céline

    Amber-Joi and Céline

    Entrepreneur / Mother and Child

    Céline's silver fringe shift dress features expandable side panels and a bonus layer of fringe that snaps on to add length. This design would allow the dress to grow with her since accessible clothing tends to be expensive - an added cost sometimes referred to as a "disability tax".

  • Joe and Lexi

    Joe and Lexi

    Student / Brother and Miss New Jersey / Sister

    Joe's red leather jacket was deconstructed, with the sleeves separated from the body and attached instead to a stretchable harness that runs underneath. This adaptation maximizes arm mobility, despite the stiff, heavy material, to facilitate wheelchair operation.

  • Scott



    Two-sided reversible cape custom-printed with Scott's own surrealist artwork. The hem is weighted to keep it in place. Capes are Scott's outerwear of choice, for freedom of movement and easy on/off.
    In memoriam (1975-2023)

  • Rachel and Otto

    Rachel and Otto

    Advocate / Mother and Child

    Otto's popsicle-print suit is tailored to look sharp in a seated posture while also accommodating walking. Gussets at the shoulder increase the range of arm motion needed to operate his wheelchair. Openings in the suit jacket and shirt provide g-tube access.

  • Allegra


    Poet / Student

    Red off-the-shoulder gown modified with lace-front closure and a stretch panel in place of a back zipper, which can be both hard to use and uncomfortable to press against all day.

  • Kellie



    Magenta one-shoulder gown modified to her measurements and outfitted with velcro closure and a wraparound elastic waistband. Skirt hemmed to avoid interfering with wheels.

  • Laura


    Fashion Entrepreneur

    Sheer blue beaded gown tailored to her measurements. Length and volume were removed from the skirt to avoid interfering with the wheels of her chair.