From the current issue of Composure Magazine a look into how one woman works to change our perception of the fashion runway industry. Find the print here.
An excerpt from the full article:
When Rebekah Marine’s confidence down the catwalk won over the fashion industry, she not only fulfilled a lifelong dream but also proved that a disability didn’t have to hold anyone back from making a fashion statement.
Story by Min A. Lee
When Rebekah Marine walked the runway for designer Antonio Urzi during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week last year, the audience was agog. Sure, the silver body paint and futuristic dress were spectacular, but what really made heads turn was the myoelectric prosthesis that Marine wore in place of her right arm and hand, something she calls an “accessory.” Born with Symbrachydactyly, a congenital limb anomaly, which, in her case, meant an unformed hand and partial arm, Marine had faced numerous rejections during her early modeling years. But that day, she made headlines, becoming a face of diversity in an otherwise rigid runway world.
The self-proclaimed “Bionic Model” says she feels grateful to be at the forefront of such a massive shift in perception. “It’s interesting, yet humbling, to see the constant headlines of disabled models making a push in the fashion industry,” says Marine. “I never saw anything like this growing up; there just weren’t models like me. I hope in the next five to 10 years, disabled models won’t just be a headline but a new standard. It’s important to educate people about disabilities, and the fashion industry is the perfect medium. It’s such a huge platform to reach people.”
I tend to work a lot of trend stories and layout designs, but the part of fashion I truly enjoy is interviewing the people working within a difficult and competitive industry who found even the tiniest beginnings of their dreams being fulfilled. While a lot of strive to be huge influencers/bloggers, I always end up falling for those who view fashion as a humbling and life-changing experience.
Sounds like a love affair right? Haha, not quite, but learning strength from a woman who never let physical differences hold her back and then to become an advocate for uplifting the young, impressionable people around her in positive ways…there’s much…much to respect. Fashion has become such a numbers game within the confines of social media, but I like to hope that these talented individuals will continue to have a beautiful light shining on them throughout their careers.
I hope even more you’ll really take the time to read Rebekah’s words and feel her emotions when she walked her first New York Fashion Week. Heartfelt and kind, I know deep down this woman will always remain the same and true to herself. Yes, fashion is about clothes and yes it is about the people who wear them…but as a whole it as Rebekah said—”a huge platform to reach people.”
Visit her site and see more here.