The principle of “Social Inclusion” does not only refer to certain agenda of large development and multilateral organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank but it also covers other specific areas and concerns of other relatively smaller organizations in the society. Among others, the objective of social inclusion is primarily to empower communities and the people themselves to improve their lives. Social inclusion go beyond poverty reduction involving policies in governance, climate change, population structure, education, and even in church related activities and arts. These inclusions and transitions would not only require changing certain norms, i.e. by doing things differently but most importantly addressing issues of dignity, respect and recognition.
At the recently concluded 2014 Philippine Fashion Week (which I would like to coin the event as hashtag #InclusiveFashion), obviously embraced and introduced the principle of social inclusion in the fashion industry. I have witnessed charity fashion events for people with disabilities but I have yet to see these people strutting down the runway in fashion capitals of the World such as New York, London, Milan and Paris. And YES only in the Philippines, for the first time in history in the fashion industry , “Fashionistas” with disabilities, visually-impaired ladies namely, Arjhesa Espiritu and Czarinah Michaela Mercado got the chance to display their catwalk skills with the assistance of their “white canes”. As can be gleaned from the above-captioned photo, their neat and well-coiffed appearance positively exuded confidence, the same quality required for a regular fashion model, which surprised and certainly “wowed” and touched the hearts of the audience. Such classic real beauties!
The Nationwide Organization of Visually-Impaired Empowered Ladies (NOVEL), in collaboration with the Philippine Blind Union Committee on women ventured with ESAC and Runway Productions and agreed to make a representation during the 2014 Philippine Fashion Week mainly for an awareness campaign on social equality, one of the main challenges of the world today.
Of the 50 Filipino fashion designers which participated in the said event, only Audie Espino and Lyle Ibanez were bold enough to embrace the aforementioned blind beauties as part of their ramp models, the best fashion statement so far which should be replicated in other countries by fashion gurus and experts particularly in developed fashion capitals of New York, London, Milan, Paris, and Tokyo.
As mentioned in my previous blogs, fashion and beauty are not only for very young, tall and skinny bodies but it is for everyone regardless of race, creed, age, gender, ability, size, etc. Fashion is about being our best, beautiful, confident self and most of all, it is on how we make of us and “fashion” ourselves!
My friends at NOVEL was kind to share the video below with My Useful Tips. Thank you guys!