Bridging a gap in the fashion world, a designer has created the first haute couture apparel brand for women with dwarfism.
Making high end fashion as inclusive as possible for people with the condition, Chamiah Dewey, 23, launched the brand in 2021.
She also creates clothes for people with mobility issues and those who use a wheelchair.
Chamiah Dewey Fashion recently featured at London Represents, a stand alone during London Fashion Week, which aims to be an inclusive alternative to LFW – and there was plenty of positive acclaim.
The fashion designer from Hampshire was inspired to create her label when she met a 17-year-old girl with achondroplasia – a disorder which causes abnormal growth in the spine and skull.
This encounter back in 2018, while working as a youth development team leader, stayed with her.
Chamiah said: ‘The short stature community are forgotten about and they do not get to see themselves represented beautifully in the media.
‘Disabled people already face challenges in life. They deserve to have access to clothes that fit, are comfy and look good, the same as everyone else.
‘I was surprised at how limited the options were, how expensive they were and how they weren’t fashionable enough, especially for a 17-year-old.
‘Adaptive fashion is something the industry doesn’t have enough of, and our clothes are actually made for women under 4″10, allowing them to experience things for the first time that average height people take for granted, such as dresses.
‘Back and side zips can be impractical and hard to reach, so we have implemented magnetic straps instead of buttons.’
Her catwalk display went viral on social media, which showcased women of short-statures and a model in an electric wheelchair.
Chamiah is working to open the fashion world up to a neglected group of people.
She said: ‘The London Fashion Week catwalk was the best day of my life.
‘It was amazing to see the models do their fittings. Their faces lit up with relief when they realised, they didn’t have to roll up their trousers and that sleeves are already the right length.
‘The models felt so happy to be seen, heard and respected.
‘It was priceless. I would bottle that joy if I could.’
Fatima Timbo, 25, an influencer who modelled for Chamiah Dewey Fashion is 4ft tall.
Fatima said: ‘Modelling was so amazing and empowering. I felt like a supermodel.
‘It’s amazing to have clothes for little women that are stylish, young, and hip.
‘I loved wearing the maxi dresses, especially the wedding dress. It was amazing, and I felt sexy in it as well.
‘I felt so beautiful and was told so by many people too.
‘I have faced many disadvantages and issues because of my height. Even walking down the street, people look at me, make fun of me and try to film me.
‘It used to affect my self-esteem, but I am comfortable in my own skin now and having clothes made for me has improved my confidence.
‘We don’t have to feel like outsiders anymore.’
Chamiah’s next plan is to branch out into menswear in the near future.
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