Prefer it or not, style has a long-standing historical past of being unique. I’m not speaking about costly designer clothes (although, entry to inexpensive, sustainable clothes is a complete completely different subject), however reasonably, illustration within the business. Solely previously few years have we seen huge strides towards inclusivity—from Black leaders revolutionizing how expertise is employed to the launch of extra size-inclusive labels. However presumably the best purveyor of change has been social media. As an editor, I can’t lie and say I don’t see social media as a power of excellent and evil. In truth, I cringe each time I see a TikTok the place somebody has spent an egregious amount of cash on a fast-fashion haul solely to ditch the items a month later. (It would by no means sit proper with my soul.) However a subset of style influencers are utilizing their platforms for good, and April Lockhart occurs to be one in all them.
Lockhart isn’t one other Instagram or TikTok star—removed from it. The primary time I stumbled upon the Nashville-based way of life creator and clean-beauty skilled’s profile, I wasn’t drawn to her due to her colourful ensembles (although, that helps) and even her religious love for the Who What Put on Assortment. As a substitute, her video collection entitled Normalizing Disabled Fashun Girlies is what hooked me. You see, ableism is a rampant a part of society even supposing over 61 million adults in the USA stay with a incapacity. Ableism convinces us that this group is on the “margins” and that we may by no means develop disabilities later in life, be liable to accidents, and even know somebody scuffling with their psychological well being. And this ideology seeps into each a part of our tradition, together with the style business.
In style, it’s nonetheless uncommon for a assortment marketing campaign to characteristic fashions with disabilities, and it’s far much less frequent for a style model to incorporate adaptive items of their collections that work for people with sensory points, cerebral palsy, and different disabilities that make dressing a problem every single day. So it’s fairly groundbreaking inside that lens to have a look at all of the work Lockhart is doing. She’s not solely utilizing her platform to destigmatize disabilities, however she’s additionally having enjoyable whereas doing it. You’ll be able to perceive, then, why we needed to interview her. Forward, you’ll hear from her about every thing from why she began posting on TikTok to which spring developments she’s most enthusiastic about. Her work is an important reminder that altering the narrative could be performed one put up at a time.