Pasadena musician and actor James Ian will endorse him at his first runway show this Thursday.
Ian, 40, will represent the disability community with “Double Take,” a show that raises awareness of disability and advocates for adaptive fashion, one day before New York Fashion Week, September 9-13.
Ian and fellow Angeleno Sausan Zakaria, 29, walk and roll down the runway to break stereotypes of disability. The garments not only feature each model’s personal touch, but also adaptive pieces such as elasticated materials, hidden zippers, magnetic zippers and flexible sleeves that facilitate maneuvering the wheelchair. Designers and engineers from Style Lab collaborated with them on the design.
“People with disabilities are overlooked in our access, our health and our existence,” he said. “This allows us to show that we bring so many cool qualities to our role to pursue our dreams, change the landscape, and influence our culture.”
Both Ian and Zachariah have spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare genetic disease that causes muscle weakness and affects their ability to perform basic life functions such as walking, swallowing, and breathing. There is a possibility.
According to Zakaria, the name of the show comes from “people who take one look at us and have an assumption.”
Zakaria, who was diagnosed at 15 months old, said she looks forward to looking glamorous and being glamorous.
“The name of the show, Double Take, comes from the assumptions people make when they see us,” she said. “My main challenge has been navigating an inaccessible world with businesses, institutions and people who don’t know what it means to be disabled.”
Sponsored by biotech company Genentech, the show is part of the SMA My Way program built to support and raise awareness in the SMA community. Genentech also sponsored the song and video “Spaces” written, directed and performed by people with SMA. Music is slated for his Video of the Year at this weekend’s Wavy Awards, which honor historically marginalized artists.
Taking place on New York’s Fifth Avenue, the fashion show will premiere on Thursday, September 8 at 7:00 a.m. PT on disability advocates Shane and Hannah Barcoe’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v) will be streamed live. =y on MXQws86G.
Anissa V. Rivera, Columnist, “Mom’s the Word”, Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Whittier Daily News, Azusa Herald, Glendora Press, West Covina Highlander, San Dimas/La Verne Highlander. Southern California News Group, 181 W. Huntington Drive, Suite 209 Monrovia, CA 91016.