Nordstrom celebrates diversity by continuing to feature models with disabilities in their 2014 annual anniversary catalogue. Four models with various disabilities have been introduced, while Nordstrom kicks off their largest event of the year.
Since 1997, Nordstrom has been using models with disabilities in their ads and catalogues to support diversity within the fashion industry. According to consulting firm Global Disability Inclusion, this makes them the industry leader when it comes to featuring models with disabilities.
You might remember 27-year-old Jillian Mercado with muscular dystrophy. She was featured in a blog post we wrote this past February. Diesel featured this wheelchair-bound fashion blogger with her wheelchair in their fall 2013 campaign. She is featured with her wheelchair in Nordstrom’s July 2014 catalogue modeling “new moto lite boots”.
Alex Minksy, is an Armed Forces veteran who lost a leg while serving in Afghanistan. Alex sports Nike running shoes in Nordstrom’s catalogue, wearing one on his foot and the other on his prosthetic device.
Shaholly Ayers, an amputee model, was born without the lower half of her right arm. She is modeling a Dooney & Burke bag in Nordstrom’s catalogue.
Sporting kids fashion is 7-year-old Emilia Taguchi from Taiwan. Emilia suffers from Down syndrome and now lives in the United States with her adoptive parents. She is continuing to model for Nordstrom as she appears in their children’s catalogue for August.
Making an Impact
Though it is still rare to see models with disabilities in ads or catalogues, especially upscale companies, more fashion industries have started to follow in the same direction as Nordstrom.
“Identifying companies that utilize models or actresses with disabilities has been like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Global Disability Inclusion partner Meg O’ Connell.
Since Nordstrom, H&M and Diesel have begun to also represent models with disabilities.
“For us, it’s really about reflecting the diverse customers and communities we serve,” said Nordstrom spokeswoman Tara Darrow.
So what will be next? Perhaps modeling accessible vans?