Stephanie Thomas is the founder of Cur8able, a Disability Fashion Lifestyle brand involved in digital media, content licensing, and fashion styling. She was born with congenital disabilities on her right hand and feet, and has experienced the frustration of shopping for accessible shoes and clothing. Her involvement in this field dates back 25 years. During that time:
- Stephanie followed disability fashion and retail trends
- Became a sought after Keynote Speaker on the topic of shopping and dressing with Disabilities
- Presented a TEDx Talk at the third largest TED event in Canada which was highlighted by TED this year as one of seven talks presented by people with disabilities breaking down barriers for people with disabilities
- Stephanie was trained as a Disability Advocate in the Virginia Partners in Policy Making Program
- Developed the Disability Fashion Styling System, a litmus for shopping and dressing with disabilities (2004)
- Produces and Presents Disability Fashion Style Segments for lifestyle television shows
- Acts as an on-air expert for news
- She has been featured in many publications and on many television programs such as People, Huffington Post, CBS, CCTV and more
- Stephanie has become the go-to stylist for actors and influencers with disabilities in Los Angeles
However it wasn’t until 2007 that her part-time passion became full time advocacy, and today that advocacy has become her life's work.
As the editor-in-chief of Cur8able.com, Stephanie is committed to challenging negative perceptions of people with disabilities by creating a platform built around fashion, beauty, and lifestyle content. Cur8able's contributors are known as Cur8tors, celebrities, influencers, thought leaders living with disabilities out loud and in style!
HI. ITS SO NICE TO MEET YOU!
I'm Stephanie, and I absolutely love my work as a Disability Fashion Stylist. It gives me an opportunity to use fashion as a tool to empower people with disabilities to shop and dress with confidence. Expressing yourself with clothing is natural, even if you don't see yourself as someone who loves fashion. You should still have the option of dressing with dignity and self reliance. The fashion industry is changing, we are seeing more brands acknowledge fashion customers with disabilities everyday. And right now, the fashion industry is having, what I like to refer to as its, "napster moment". Napster was disruptive technology in the music industry. Prior to Napster, the idea of peer to peer audio sharing was not a threat to the music industry. Napster was taken to court and lost the court case against him, but the industry had been changed forever. Today, Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger's commitment to break away from the current fashion calendar with Fashion Immediacy or See Now, Buy", is disruptive technology within the fashion industry. According to Business of Fashion Fashion Immediacy means the designers will:
- Present two seasonless fashion shows a year
- Show men's and women's collections together
- Make the clothing on the runway available within weeks
Why does this matter? This is a huge break from the current fashion calendar, it rejects new Pantone colors each season, and it directly affects advertising norms within glossies or fashion magazines. What does this have to do with shopping and dressing with disabilities? Everything!! When an industry goes through massive shifts and changes; it opens the door for new opportunities and new customers. I am totally convinced that Hilfiger's partnership with Runway of Dreams will have an impact on the industry overtime. More and more brands will begin to address the needs of fashion customers with disabilities, by using Universal Design, which has been used for decades in designing homes, furnishings and more. This shift will take time. Which is why many years ago I developed the Disability Fashion Styling to act as a bridge between where the fashion industry is and where it's going. If you or your loved one needs assistance don't hesitate, send me message and lets co-create something beautiful together.