First model in wheelchair featured at New York Fashion Week

On Feb. 6, Danielle Sheypuk made history by becoming the first-ever model in a wheelchair to be featured at New York Fashion Week, participating in the show of designer Carrie Hammer.

Danielle Sheypuk.
Danielle Sheypuk.
Hiokit Lao

It’s a big first in the fashion world. The industry has been criticized for having narrow standards of beauty and for a lack of diversity among models, along with contributing to body-image issues among women.

In an emailed statement, Hammer explained that she wanted to showcase “real women” models like Sheypuk in her show. “I wanted to take the first step in shifting the trend to powerful women and away from gaunt models. This will start a conversation about the type of models that are cast in campaigns. This recognition will help pave the way to have healthy restrictions around models and over-photoshopping.”

Hammer added: “I think the fashion industry is starting to really feel the backlash for their contributions to body dismorphia. There is an article almost every day with photoshop horrors that occur on the cover of magazines and in ad campaigns for huge brands. The brands that step up to the plate by casting women who better and more accurately represent their customers will get big kudos and recognition. At the end of the day, aren’t our customers what we do this for? Let be sure that we are empowering them rather than demoralizing them.”

Sheypuk later posted a photo of herself on the runway to her Instagram account.

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First model in wheelchair featured at New York Fashion Week