Disability: Models of Diversity

Disability: Models of Diversity

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    • 00:01

      [MUSIC PLAYING][Disability, Models of Diversity][MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 00:22

      PHOTOGRAPHER: That's it.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 00:33

      ANGEL SINCLAIR: That's it, all you can.

    • 00:35

      PHOTOGRAPHER: OK.

    • 00:36

      ANGEL SINCLAIR: That's it.I started Models of Diversity in 2008,[Angel Sinclair, CEO, Models of Diversity]after I appeared on a-- Gok Wan show called Miss Naked Beauty.And after doing that show, which was about diversity in women,I decided that something needed to change in the fashionindustry.So I decided to no longer model, and I started up this campaign.

    • 01:03

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: [MUSIC PLAYING]The reason why I champion so hardfor models with disabilities is a personal reason.I brought up my nephew from the age of 2 until he was 16.He suffered with cerebral palsy.

    • 01:25

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: And I remember watching a TV program calledBritain's Top Missing Model, which featured disabled models.It was the first time I ever seen it.I tuned into the show week after week, and I was thinking,there's a point there.You don't see them.So after the show, I contacted the winner

    • 01:49

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: of the show, named Kelly Knox.And I wanted to find out from herwhat her journey's been like since leaving the show.And unfortunately, nothing happened with her.The modeling agency that she was signed up with, they went bust.She didn't have an agent, nothing.

    • 02:10

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: So I took it upon myself, and I said to herthat, I want to make a change.Work with me.Let's do this together.And that's the reason why I startedfrom a personal point of view, but alsothe fact that I felt that disabled models werebeing discriminated against by the fashion industry.

    • 02:33

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: There's 11 million disabled people in the UK,and zero model has been signed to a modeling agency.And that's poor, so I'm going to change that.

    • 02:46

      CHELSEA J: Could you have him do that?

    • 02:48

      ANGEL SINCLAIR: Yes.Yes.If you want to just use these for today.

    • 02:54

      CHELSEA J: I started off as a ambassador for disability.[Chelsea J, Director, Models of Diversity]So that was just being part of the campaign with regardsto disability for Models of Diversity.And then, just as time went on, I'm now the director of it,just because obviously, I'm very consistent and very passionate.Me and Angel, the founder, are very much on the same page.I think that disabled people are represented really

    • 03:17

      CHELSEA J [continued]: poorly in fashion.I mean, it doesn't exist.Or when it does, it's tokenistic, very patronizing.It's not reality of disabled people,and that's what I've got a problem with.Representation in the fashion industry and beauty industry,people with disabilities are literally non-existent.

    • 03:37

      CHELSEA J [continued]: I think it's very difficult because the public, I think,are very willing to accept models with disabilities.But the industry isn't, yeah?

    • 03:46

      MAKEUP ARTIST: Right.

    • 03:47

      CHELSEA J: And so it's really tryingto get the public's support and to prove that the public reallyare interested in various types of models,just not the same models, to get the fashionindustry to change its ways.

    • 04:02

      ANGEL SINCLAIR: In terms of the fashion industry,it's fear of change.Nobody wants to take that first step.Nobody wants to be the first one to say, you know what?We're going to permanently featuredisabled models in all our advertising campaigns.The last fashion brand that featured a disabled model

    • 04:24

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: was Debenhams.It was around the Paralympics in 2012,and they featured Kelly Knox and Stefanie Reid.Once again, worldwide news.I mean, it was everywhere.Everybody loved it.

    • 04:44

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: But once again, they didn't continue with that.It was just up and down, end.I'm hoping that they will consider using disabled modelson a more permanent basis, rather than as a tokenism,Because I find it quite patronizing, really.

    • 05:08

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: And I think that they need to change their attitudearound disability and use a disabled model permanently,rather than as a way of advertisement.

    • 05:25

      PHOTOGRAPHER: So if you can be moretowards that part of the chair over there.Even if you could sort of lean forwardjust a little bit or towards Jenna, that would be good.

    • 05:36

      ANGEL SINCLAIR: All the agencies that I'vecontacted have turned down every single one of my models.One agency actually had the audacity to say to me,thank you for sending in this model's portfolio,but she has an arm missing.And this is a top London agency.

    • 05:59

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: Disability is not a choice, but discrimination is.And I feel that as soon as they enter a casting,they're immediately judged by the fact that they're disabled.Sometimes their portfolios are not even opened,

    • 06:20

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: which I think is really unfair.[MUSIC PLAYING]Every year I would do a fashion show,I would always feature the seven disabled models.And the response I would get from the general publicwas so positive.We did street surveys.

    • 06:42

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: I mean, 99.9% of the general publicsaid, we want to see them.Where are they?I've never known-- we don't know that they exist.And so that's my main reason why I keep pushing, and pushing,and pushing for disabled models to be accepted in the fashion

    • 07:03

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: industry.Yeah.You've got to have them on twenty--when you get up in the morning, oh, T-shirt time.Since I started campaigning for modelswith disabilities, the campaign itself has reached worldwide.I've had people from all around the world contact us.

    • 07:25

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: The emails always start with, "Thank God, somebody'sdoing something."Or "I've always wanted to be a modeland never thought I could, and your organization hasgiven me hope."I tend to do more in the UK because I'mable to access these models.I get them to come to London to meet me.

    • 07:48

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: And I've built up quite a pool of models now.We now have about 15.I'm not saying every disabled person can be a model.But some of the ones that I've picked outhave the talent for it.You have to have the ability to be a model.I then decided to start up model workshops

    • 08:13

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: for people with disabilities.But what I tend to do is I integrate themwith able-bodied models, because I don't believe in segregation.They could all help each other, and it works really well.I never turn away anyone.I never say to anyone they can't be a model.

    • 08:33

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: But what I do tend to do is to give themguidelines and ways of how they can use their talent.How I go out recruiting models is that I have test shoot days.With some of my models that I have hand-picked,they are now ambassadors for models with disabilities.

    • 08:57

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: They also reach out to other peoplebecause we get about 40 to 50 emails a dayfrom all around the world, from people wanting our helpand asking us, can we come out there and set up workshops?But it's about raising the funds and beingable to go out and help as many people as I can.

    • 09:20

      PHOTOGRAPHER:1, 2, 3, 4, 5.Go.1, 2, 3, 4, 5.Chelsea, you're far too serious.

    • 09:26

      ANGEL SINCLAIR: Yeah, Chelsea.Maybe turn, Chels.Turn and look at Alicia.How I go about raising funds is Ido have quite a few wealthy friends that I'm always askingmoney, and they-- whenever I'm doing fashion shows,I go back to them and say, look, can I have $200 here?

    • 09:47

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: And I also ask for a lot of freebies as well.We're not a charity.We're a nonprofit campaign.I've also put a lot of my own personal money into this.Like today, I funded the studio myself.I have to pay their hair and makeup.So we're working on a shoestring,

    • 10:10

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: really, so we're always in need of money.And we are now applying to corporates companiesand soliciting funds, and offering thempackages, deals, like having their logos on MOD T-shirts.

    • 10:34

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: putting their businesses on our websites to try and generatemoney, because the bigger the campaign gets, the more moneywe need.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 10:53

      CHELSEA J: I hope that the fashion industry will changein the sense of how it is now, whichis really old-fashioned and dated, to havingthis revolution, where suddenly, it's OK,let's actually represent everybody.Because where did it suddenly become let's just representone type of person, an unrealistic cookie-cutter image

    • 11:14

      CHELSEA J [continued]: of someone?I think it's important that the kids grow upseeing themselves represented everywhere,like everybody does.If you can't see different people,and then you see them in the street,you're going to fear that.And that's not how we should be as people.Everyone should be happy with everyone, really,and know that everyone's different,and be cool with that.

    • 11:35

      CHELSEA J [continued]: I've been on crutches about a year and a half now.And so, people tend to generally feel sorry for you.And I'm not that type of person.So I think that this, Models of Diversity,has been really good for me, because it'shelped me get back--

    • 11:50

      MAKEUP ARTIST:Get the confidence back.

    • 11:51

      CHELSEA J: Yeah, and get back your identity,and it gives you a bit of power.But I think that it helps, because ithelps change people's perceptions of what peoplewith disabilities can do.

    • 11:59

      MAKEUP ARTIST: OK.

    • 12:00

      CHELSEA J: So, hopefully, society's viewwill change the more work is done to help disabled people,in general.

    • 12:09

      ANGEL SINCLAIR: As an organization,I'm hoping to achieve, number one, that London FashionWeek features a disabled model in 2016.I've got high hopes for that.I have regular meetings with the CEO of the British FashionCouncil, and I think it looks promising.

    • 12:31

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: Two, I would like to see some of the modeling agenciesstart taking on disabled models and finding work for them.Three, I'd also like to see some of the fashion brandsstart saying, do you know what?

    • 12:52

      ANGEL SINCLAIR [continued]: We're going to start employing them.So that the agencies and the fashion brandsstart working together so that disabled models can get work.So that is my ultimate goal.[MUSIC PLAYING]

Disability: Models of Diversity

View Segments Segment :

Abstract

Award-winning model Angel Sinclair founded her own non-profit organization to promote progressive change in the fashion industry and to include persons with disabilities in ad campaigns. She discusses the origins of the organization and puts on a photo shoot with her models.

SAGE Video In Practice
Disability: Models of Diversity

Award-winning model Angel Sinclair founded her own non-profit organization to promote progressive change in the fashion industry and to include persons with disabilities in ad campaigns. She discusses the origins of the organization and puts on a photo shoot with her models.

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