Disabled Models Were The Star On Tokyo Runway

Designer Takafumi Tsuruta’s approach to fashion is simple and admirable: Create stylish garments for anyone and everyone to wear. With the mission of complete inclusivity (a total rarity in the fashion world), Tsuruta chose models with disabilities to showcase his latest bold, graphic designs, some of which were inspired by assistive technology like Braille. While he isn’t the first designer (or the last) to cast runway models with handicaps and physical disabilities, Tsuruta’s efforts to provide a platform on the scale of Tokyo Fashion Week reminds designers, editors, stylists and others in the industry to design with thought and purpose.

Tsuruta’s strategic choice of details, such as magnetic buttons for users to put and take off clothes easily, was in effort to make high fashion accessible for people with varying disabilities (and even those without). The collection’s color palette consistently remained yellow, black and white, with touches of neon green, classic red Tartan, cobalt blue, and aubergine as a visual message to echo the diversity of the models on the Tenbo runway.

Following suit from his Fall 2014 show for label HaHa, Tsuruta closed the show in classic fashion with a custom wedding dress.

At this year's show, the disabled models included Blind Paralympic gold medal swimmer Rina Akiyama and Ami Sano who ended the show wearing a wedding dress down the runway in her electric wheelchair.


To see more of the Tenbo Fall 2015 collection, visit the gallery on Tokyo Fashion Week's website.

Images: fashiontv/Instagram; Getty