Wheelchair on the Runway at Tokyo Fashion Week

Wheelchair on the Runway at Tokyo Fashion Week March 22, 2015

I just love to see people who are “differently-abled” get a shot at their dreams.

I already shared about Jamie Brewer, the first model with Down Syndrome to walk the runway at NYC Fashion Week.

Now a Japanese designer did a similar thing. Takafumi Tsuruta’s show featured “easy-to-wear” designs no matter your level of physical ability, and his models included women who were blind, had prosthetic legs, or were in a wheelchair.

“Quirky” is definitely the right word for his Tenbo brand, but the opportunity he gave to people who had never dreamed they could model is really a beautiful thing to see.

Rina Akiyama opened the show. She won a gold medal for swimming at the London 2012 Paralympics, and she’s blind. Her dress was inspired by Braille.

Some of the clothing had magnetic buttons that are easier for people with disabilities to put on and off. The finale was a wedding gown worn by Ami Sano, a woman who was born without any limbs. She floated down the runway in an electric wheelchair, beaming.

She says she hopes the show was one step toward breaking down the walls that people with disabilities face in Japan, and gives them hope.

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