Ukraine’s first wheelchair model breaks taboos and finally gets her first runway debut ,Alexandra Kutas
Nearly everyone faces hardships and difficulties at one time or another. But for disabled people, barriers can be more frequent and have a greater impact. Disability is neither a choice nor a crime. And yet, the society tends to base its discrimination towards disabled people on those very grounds.
What the society does not take into consideration is that people living with disabilities – hidden or visible – have aspirations and fantasies just like everyone else. And when those very disabled men and women are shunned by the society, they fight back harder. That’s precisely what a wheelchair bound Ukrainian model did by starring in a runway show, and proved her criticizers wrong.
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23-year-old model Alexandra Kutas suffered a spinal cord injury at birth and has never been able to walk ever since due to her paralysis from the waist down. Due to her disability, she was eschewed by the fashion industry, around 300 Fashion houses rejected her, and yet, had her modeling dreams fulfilled after being signed up for a “game – changing” runway show. She became the first professional model in a wheelchair to headline a runway event in her country.
Early this February, the beautiful brunette graced the prestigious catwalk at Mercedez – Benz Fashion days in Kyiv. And that’s not it! She starred as the face of the show for the renowned fashion designer Fedor Vozianov in Ukraine’s first runway dedicated to a model of disability. She was practically the showstopper at this event, and for good reasons.
Fedor Vozianov’s artistic vision for the show included a custom chair designed to highlight her strengths as a model. Looking exquisite in a floor – length black gown and puffer jacket, Kutas, who was seated in an elevated chair, was hoisted up by four male models and was walked to the end of runway – a historic moment she will cherish for life.
Alexandra Kutas wants her visibility to inspire others to never give up. And she continuously leverages the power of social media and Internet to advocate for redefining the popular conception of people with disabilities. Her next goal is to be on the cover of Vogue magazine. Her confidence and determination is not just commendable but also proves how there is no greater disability in the society than the inability to see a person as so much more.
Alexandra Kutas is the girl in a wheelchair turned model who is happy to be herself and does not wish to be someone else, no matter how many looks of pity are thrown her way. Kudos to you, Kutas, for being an inspiration to many all over the world.