Models and designers with disabilities take center stage at New York Fashion Week.

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New York Fashion Week runways have become increasingly diverse over the past several seasons. Still, one group is just beginning to see more representation at fashion week: the disabled community.

Gabriela Santaniello is the founder and CEO of A Line Partners, a retail research firm that helps investors invest in brands and the fashion industry. In addition to her passion for retail, she is passionate about disability rights and representation.

Brands should look at this as a revenue driver in terms of trying to get fashion brands to listen to the issues faced by the disabled community and bring in representatives of the disabled.

“It’s sad and horrible to ask these brands to listen to disability accommodations and representation, they should see an increase in their revenue,” Santaniello said. “It doesn’t have to be this way, but brands are more likely to succeed in the disability market. I don’t understand why they can’t get on board and it drives me nuts.

Open Style Lab, a non-profit organization dedicated to making style accessible to everyone, regardless of physical abilities, is helping to fight for this representation. This season, as a prelude to New York Fashion Week, the organization is hosting a first-of-its-kind runway show called Double Tack, which aims to increase disability visibility and champion adaptive fashion.

Annika Hutler performs during A Fashion Revolution on the Runway of Dreams at the Grand Downtown in Los Angeles, California.

Jerrod Harris/Getty Runway for a Dream Foundation

Double Take was created for the wider disability community by the Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) community, and their runway shows feature all models with SMA on the runways.

We should continue to try to put more people of different backgrounds on the runway.

Grace Jun

“Disability visibility is one of the areas that needs to be more integrated into mainstream culture,” said Grace June, the organization’s CEO. “We have to continue to try to put more people of different backgrounds on the runway because that’s a great place to start.”

This year, the Open Style Lab fellows designing for Double Take were chosen from around the world, and 80 percent of them are disabled themselves. In a statement emailed to The Daily Beast, Andrea Saleh, one of this year’s fellows, said, “Thanks to Genentech’s support, Double Take gave me the opportunity to explore forward-thinking fashion design that involved all people’s skills. I’ve collaborated with several people to create clothes that fit their personalities and personal needs, including Shane Burkaw, who has SMA and uses a power wheelchair.

Matthew and Mike Fernandez appeared on stage during Fashion Revolution at Dreamway of Dreams at Majestic Downtown in Los Angeles, California.

Jerrod Harris/Getty Runway for a Dream Foundation

Mindy Scheer, founder of the Runway of Dreams Foundation, which empowers people with disabilities through fashion, was inspired to start her company because her son has muscular dystrophy. Now, she’s focused on helping the next generation of designers win.

“One thing I always try to tell people is that a disability can happen to any of us at any stage of our lives,” Scheier said. “There’s no question that the industry is starting to evolve about representation of people with disabilities, and brands are slowly starting to treat people with disabilities as a category that doesn’t differentiate them from plus-size or petite. Dream Way of Dreams now uses the money we raise from our shows to fund scholarships for people pursuing careers in adaptive fashion. We partner with over 20 college clubs and universities to engage in the adaptive fashion movement.Adaptive fashion is becoming an incredibly important category in the industry.

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