Brazil loves wheelchair fashion

Photo courtesy of Candina Cirino

Just like scientists realizing, “Wow, here’s another animal species we didn’t know about,” don’t think for a second you know everything that’s happening in the world of adaptive fashion. There are fashion-forward things happening in countries all over the world, and I’m here to fill you in on.

In the colorful country of Brazil (love this place) they have completely taken to wheelchair fashion, and Candida Cirino (her site) is a fashion designer who designs clothes for those with spinal cord injuries. Growing up with a mom as a seamstress, Candida received her first thread and needle at the age of 5, and by the time she was a teenager she was sewing things for her mom’s business.

This is when she made the cross-over into adaptive fashion. Her mom needed help creating designs for bodies that were not necessarily “the norm,” and the rest is history. Candida has been designing clothes since 2007 (when she took a class in fashion design), but only in the last two years has she been really making a name for herself. December 11, 2011, was one of her first “big” events – when she submitted two models to Brazil’s annual “Fashion Mob” event, where models in haute couture looks strut their stuff in the streets (view a video of it here).

Candida has also designed new uniforms for Brazil’s wheelchair basketball team, as well as a dress for gospel singer Pamela Sullen (also a wheelchair-user). And she’s working on a project for disabled moms called “Maria de Rodas,” in addition to her project creating stylish gloves. Check out Candida’s site here (it’s in Portuguese. Google Translate is your friend).

And Fashion Inclusivo (‘Moda Inclusivo’) is another awesome fashion organization in Brazil. They put on a fashion show each year using kids with disabilities as the models, and it’s also a contest for adapted clothing designs. What I love about this event is that all disabilities are represented, from CP amd Down’s Syndrome to amputees and those with spinal cord injuries. This is a widely attended and widely supported event by many in Brazil. So much love for that (watch a video of a past show). And here specifically is a cool “cubism” inspired look Candida created for this event.

Also, did you know a gorgeous model with a spinal cord injury hails from Brazil? Samanta Bullock is a paraplegic actress and model (also a member of Brazil’s Paralympic wheelchair tennis team), who’s been professionally modeling for several years (view her site). I’ve seen her face in Kuschall ads before (when she was a burnette). I love how fresh and real she is, and that she’s also active helping children with disabilities in developing countries.

Now if a contingent of Carnival wheelchair dancers in full regalia ever comes out of this country, I think I might be inspired forever.

Are you from Brazil? What fashion designs inspire you?

Photo courtesy of Candina Cirino

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