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Catwalk Show Set To Celebrate Diversity

An inspirational fashion show which champions those living with disabilities returns to the catwalk on September 14 and 15...

Be Beautiful, Be Yourself will take place in Manchester having had to postpone in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

Manchester-based fashion giant Whispering Smith is teaming up with the north-west based charity, The Friendship Circle, to present a show which will celebrate diversity.

“We are proud to support The Friendship Circle and the important work that they do,” said Rohina Kumar, Director of Whispering Smith, which is also donating £5,000 to the charity.

“Fashion and clothing should never be a barrier, and we have made sure to adapt our styles so that all of those taking to the catwalk can feel at their most confident.”

Those taking part in the event will be following in the footsteps of fashion’s move towards greater visibility for disabled and visibly different models – a charge led by Britain’s Ellie Goldstein, the Down Syndrome model who has fronted campaigns for Gucci and Adidas.

Championing diversity and enabling those with disabilities to live full lives sits at the heart of The Friendship Circle’s work with over 160 people across the region. At September’s event, models, aged 21 to 40, will be joined on stage by some of the volunteers – 150 in total who have worked with the charity which strives to change perceptions and break down the barriers faced by people with disabilities in the community.

“The Friendship Circle campaigns for awareness and inclusion of people with disabilities allowing them to be seen for who they are and not how they look,” said Mimi Lyons, Fundraising Director of The Friendship Circle.

“The fashion show encapsulates what The Friendship Circle is all about, embracing diversity, breaking down the stigma associated with people with disabilities. Our vision is of a community where everyone is respected, included, and accepted.

"We believe that fashion should be for all people with ability, no matter what shape or size."

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