Andover Young People Charity Local News

Frankie makes history in the UK’s first inclusive bridal shoot

Six disabled models have taken part in the UK’s first inclusive bridal shoot. Model, Frankie, aged 7 from Andover is extra special as she was born with trisomy 21 or more commonly known as Down syndrome. Recently a charity and bridal shop worked together to create beautiful inclusive photoshoot in campaign to change the look of the bridal world.

Frankie and her family travelled up to London so she could pose in a elegant, white bridal dress with six other women who have disabilities.

Photo credit Stacey

The shoot was setup by the North London Bridal shop ‘The Boutique’ and The Models of Diversity, as a campaign to change the way the bridal industry portrays woman. They want to show off all women and not just the mainstream.

Models of Diversity – a charity that promotes equality and diversity for the public benefit by promoting greater diversity in the fashion, beauty and media industries – worked with the shop and agencies in order to make the shoot a huge success.

Founder of Models of Diversity Angel Sinclair said the wedding industry “could do better to include all types of women in photoshoots”

Donna, Frankies mother said I want to say a “Huge thank you to A special face Agency Models of Diversity Christine Michael’s-Mehmet and The Boutique for this amazing opportunity! All the models on the day were truly STUNNING! So proud of our beautiful girl”

Frankie, usually works alongside A special Face agency who are said to “work tirelessly to give so many young people with disabilities the opportunity to achieve their dreams and show the world the importance of inclusion and representation.” But this has been her biggest project to date .

Stacey, owner A special Face said “I am so proud of this campaign it was important that women with disabilities be represented in the bridal industry.

The shoot had woman who were wheelchair users, had Ulcerative Colitis, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) which is a lifelong invisible illness, mobility and neurological difficulties, alopecia and Down Syndrome all representing woman inclusively in ether beautiful gowns.

The models who posed for the incredibly stunning shoot had explaned that as young women there was nothing to relate to on the market, there were feeling of not being worthy, and unprepresented because they didn’t look the same.

The photoshoot aimed to show it was possible for the wedding industry to “step up and be more inclusive of not only mainstream ideals of beauty, but of all women.” Addressing the lack of diversity.

Bride model Frankie, had an absolutely fabulous time, backstage getting her hair all professionally styled and then posing in front of the group of brides in beautiful white dress.

Photo credit Stacey

The bridal store owners Christine Michaels, 46, and sister Andrea, 41 were extremely proud of what has been achieved, especially being the first bridal shop to represent woman who don’t necessarily have a symmetrical face, or every limb, or look a certain way.

Christine said ‘It’s such a shame that more bridal shops and designers do not use models that are a little bit different. Women getting married do not only look like the models in these magazines.

“We feel that these images should reflect real life and real brides.

“We have a mobility shop next door to us and have always wanted to be an inclusive bridal shop, we have wheelchair access and always cater for any bride as we believe every bride is unique and everyone should be treated special when choosing their wedding dress.”

Together the campaign hopes to normalise and celebrate our differences, so the population as a whole feels represented and not just a select few.

Charity founder from Models of diversity, Angel Sinclair, said: “Regardless of the positive and progressive changes the fashion industry has been making lately in terms of diversity and inclusion, we’ve found the wedding industry still falls short. For too long it has only shown one very mainstream image of what society deems beautiful.

“Our followers were sick of not seeing themselves represented, it damages self-esteem and creates negativity around what should be a joyous time.

“With this stunning campaign, we hope to provide a platform for people with disabilities to become more visible and redefine beauty in bridal.”

To follow Frankie’s story more click HERE