- Title: Dwarf models hit the catwalk in Dubai to highlight their condition
- Date: 21st May 2017
- Summary: ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** DWARF MODEL WEARING RED DRESS COMING DOWN OPEN AIR CATWALK WITH CROWDS CLAPPING AUDIENCE LOOKING ON DWARF MODEL WEARING RED DRESS POSING AT END OF CATWALK DWARF MODEL WEARING PINK DRESS AND HEADSCARF COMING DOWN OPEN AIR CATWALK IN A WHEELCHAIR WITH CROWDS CLAPPING DWARF MODEL WEARING PINK DRESS POSING DWARF MODEL WEARING GOLD DRESS COMING DOWN OPEN AIR CATWALK WITH CROWDS CLAPPING
- Embargoed: 4th June 2017 11:33
- Keywords: models UAE Dubai catwalk dwarfism dwarf Fashion
- Location: DUBAI, UAE
- City: DUBAI, UAE
- Country: United Arab Emirates
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Fashion
- Reuters ID: LVA0056HS6639
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Fashion shows are traditionally put on by tall and thin models. But in one case in Dubai, a group of dwarf women are changing the norm. They are hitting the catwalk to highlight the need for the fashion industry to cater for people with dwarfism.
The International Dwarf Fashion Show has been running since 2014, but this is the first time they have come to the Middle East as part of their world tour.
While the fashion industry tries to break appearance and size stereotypes, the presence of an International Dwarf Fashion Show becomes certainly essential.
The organisation is trying to send a message that fashion is for everyone not only those with a certain appearance, by touring and visiting the most prominent fashion events in the world including Paris and New York Fashion Weeks.
The founder of the show, Maryam Shalek, told Reuters, "I have been working in the fashion industry in the past year so when you're dealing with models and designers, they are always asking you for tall and skinny, right, so it's always the same thing. So we realised that there is a real lack in the fashion industry, which is very discriminatory towards people that are not tall and skinny and you know when you look at a fashion show, people are not that way. I don't recognise myself in models."
The show hosts "little models" from across the globe who want to participate in sending a message of tolerance and diversity.
Models that participate in the show are no taller than 4 feet and come from the USA, Italy, Russia and many more countries, something that adds to the diversity of the show.
"What the team is doing is to raise awareness about dwarfism and with this show, we want to introduce dwarf women in the fashion world and so we need also dresses and we want to be part of this show, that's why I'm here," said Maximiliana Sancheva, and Italian model participating in the show for her first time.
The idea of the show came to Shalek when she was shopping in a store and saw a "little woman" shopping in the children's section, citing frustration at the lack of options she could find.
The International Dwarf Fashion Show faced complications setting up the event, with Arab Fashion Week organisers denying that the show would take place as part of their programme.
Despite the controversy the show caused in Dubai, and the conflicting reports that it has been cancelled, the organisers went through with it, albeit with difficulty.
"This here is working right, it's very hard because people are very reluctant, especially when you go overseas. The United States, you know it has been accepted. Europe is the same thing. This show actually has been the hardest to produce, the hardest literally. We got dropped at the last minute by sponsors so it was just devastating, the night before we were flying to Dubai. So hopefully you know, this is going to open people's minds here and see that little people are just people right; individuals just like you and I. They have jobs, they have kids, they have families. They're just differently able, that's it," explained Maryam Shalek.
The show however, took place at the Dubai Miracle Gardens - a tourist hotspot where some of the most beautiful flowers are put on display in an intricate and creative space.
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