Diversity in fashion gets a major push at this Big Bazaar event with disabled people walking the ramp
They are show stoppers in their daily lives and for a few hours the world got to see their incredible spirit on stage. We are talking about disability rights advocate Virali Modi and visually impaired radio jockey Simran Chawla, who took to the stage in Jaipur to showcase Fbb - India's Fashion Hub's summer collection during SPARK, an annual event held by Big Bazaar.
Retail giant Big Bazaar has been in the news for initiating many innovative steps towards inclusive shopping and this fashion show is in keeping with that spirit, says Prachi Mohapatra, Chief Marketing Officer, Fbb. "We have been working on inclusion initiatives seriously for the last two years and it has started taking shape over the last year. We chose Virali and Simran for their upbeat spirit and the way they look at life. There are no words to describe how we feel about them".
Both Modi and Chawla are not new to the fashion ramp, having taken part in many such events before. What made this experience different was the platform, said Chawla.
The experience was quite wonderful and the scale was very grand. I really don't have the words to describe it. It was like a dream come true. I feel Fbb is doing some great work when it comes to inclusion and through such initiatives they are making the point that all of us are equal and capable of doing whatever we want. I feel other brands should learn from Fbb and take such steps so disabled people gain confidence and there is also awareness created. - Simran Chawla, Radio Jockey
Modi loved the opportunity the event gave her to interact with other non disabled models and share perspectives. "I enjoyed interacting with the other participants a lot. The other models were a bit shy at first and hesitant to talk to us because they had never interacted with a disabled person before. Eventually we broke the ice and spoke to them about the need for diversity in fashion to reflect body shapes, disabilities and styles and it was lovely to hear that they shared the same views. They were encouraging and gave us tips for the ramp as well".
Modi, who models professionally, hopes this will make other brands look at inclusive fashion seriously.
This is not where the road ends for Big Bazaar, which plans to look at adaptive fashion in a big way. "The clothes for Virali and Simran were developed by in house designers", says Mohapatra. "The journey has just begun for us and we hope to have adaptive wear in our stores in the future".
That a major brand like Future Group retail is embracing inclusion is a dedicated manner is good news and will hopefully push others to change attitudes.