U.K. Times: Fashion Shouldn’t Exclude The Learning Disabled

Yes, we already know that the world of high fashion is elitist. But here’s one excluded group you probably don’t immediately think of: people with learning disabilities. For those with special needs, according to the U.K.’s Times, “access to hardcore music, fashion, late nights and generally funky stuff is especially hard.” That’s why the newspaper’s fashion department decided to stage a photo shoot for its Sunday style magazine with three learning-challenged persons. Says photographer Rankin, who shot the spread, “It really opened up a world a lot of fashion people don’t know about.” Along with the article about a growing culture of cool specifically for mentally handicapped, there’s also a video that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the shoot shows, with interviews from the subjects involved. Honestly, we don’t know what to say about this. On the one hand, it’s always great to extend an invitation to subcultures with disadvantages. On the other, how does being mentally handicapped exclude you more from fashion more than, say, someone who just can’t afford it? (We don’t know.) Is the Times creating an issue by implying that the majority of those with special needs have no style? Demeaning or empowering? Click on the link to watch the video. [Times Online]