Sickle Cell Matters Fashion Show
I took part in a charity fashion show a few weeks ago in The Hilton Hotel in Dublin. The show is for #SickleCellMatters and this was my third time taking part. I normally pick what models will walk for my Emily Artwear urban clothing range and around lunchtime one of the organisers said to me “There’s a model here with a prosthetic leg, do you think she could walk in the show for you?” I said the same thing I say for every other model “I’ll have to meet her and see what she’s like and if she fits the vibe of my brand or not”. Sometimes I choose on looks, sometimes on personality, but above all else, it has to “feel” right.
Later coming out of the lift I met two nice girls that had their own look going on and I was chatting to them for a bit and checked if there any spaces left for them to join my Emily Artwear crew. It turned out later that one of these girls, Katie, was the girl with the prosthetic leg which I didn’t even notice till she said it to me. She had cool tattoos and a nice attitude and I thought she would work well, and I decided that her nice friend, Samantha, should also model too. They did a bit of practice over the day with street style poses, etc.
We did the show anyway and it all went really well. After the show we got chatting and I asked Katie what had happened to her. I hadn’t wanted to ask before the show because I wanted her to stay focused and keep her confidence up. She told me that she had jumped in front of a train in March of this year. Her body had been shattered and she thought she might not walk again. She had been doing physio and rehab for months and had only got the prosthetic leg a few weeks ago.
We all had a good chat on the way home and Katie told me she has a blog about mental health called “Lots of Love, Katie” which you can check out if you are interested in the subject. It was a moving experience to meet this girl (I was thinking about her for days afterwards) and since the show she has been all over the media and newspapers in Ireland speaking about her journey and about mental health. She is an advocate, showing that you can overcome anything to become a success in your chosen field.
I met another guy Darren the same day who told me that he also overcame some pretty heavy stuff too, and even though it was his first time modeling he got stuck in and learned the ropes quickly. He also kept us all in high spirits for the evening when the show was running late!
As you probably know, I’ve been involved with mental health advocates “Live Out Loud Charity”, founded by the awesome Sherrie Gearheart in the USA, and am looking forward to joining them again this September during New York Fashion Week.
I’d like to think that my High Fashion Streetwear and Emily Artwear urban clothing ranges and are more than just a fashion brand. The more amazing and inspiring people that become involved along the way, the more I feel that this dream of bringing people together and spreading a positive message is already becoming a reality.
Wishing Katie all the best in her upcoming events, and also big love to the numerous inspirational people I’ve been lucky enough to meet recently. I’ll be blogging and vlogging regularly on my new website, and I’m looking forward to developing fun and encouraging connections with you all as time goes on.
Much love, stay alive and stay happy.