It would be silly to assume that all of these millions of people wouldn’t be interested in fashion. However, many clothing brands seem to think this as they fail to make their ranges accessible to all people.
We’re talking about a lot of people and a lot of spending power! Indeed, the ‘purple pound’ – the spending power of disabled households – is thought to be worth around £274 billion to the UK economy. It’s believed that businesses lose out on around £2 billion every month by ignoring the needs of disabled people.
But despite the importance and spending power of the disabled population, there have been minimal changes for fashion advertising. However, if we turn our attention to disabled Instagram influencers and disabled fashion bloggers, then we begin to see a different picture.
Here, we share some of our favourite disabled social media influencers and fashion bloggers to follow.
1. Tess Daly
Sharing her name with the famous ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ presenter, @Tess.Daly has a staggering 225,000 followers. She’s one of the leading disabled fashion influencers and has worked on campaigns for the likes of Pretty Little Thing and Boohoo.
Tess has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and uses an electric wheelchair. She posts excellent beauty tutorials on Instagram. She has said, “So many people with disabilities have told me that I’ve given them the confidence, not only to embrace their disability, but to also pursue their own love of make-up.”
2. Bernadette Hagans
Northern Irish @bernadettehagans is an amputee model and one of the UK’s leading disabled influencers. Describing herself as “the girl with the colourful leg”, she has an impressive portfolio.
She has been involved in some fabulous work with Kurt Geiger – the London-based luxury shoe brand. This cancer survivor has also worked with Primark and is building her reputation for showing that anyone can overcome shyness, and frankly, anything.
3. Emily Davison
Emily Davison, with handle @fashioneyesta2012, is a disabled fashion blogger who shares insights into her life with visual impairment with her gorgeous guide dog, Unity. Her blog is a fantastic place where she shares her happy times. She’s excellent at throwing misconceptions about disability out of the window and setting the record straight. She frequently shares her insightful and interesting beauty reviews.
4. Pippa Stacey
Pippa Stacey (@lifeofpippa) from York writes regularly on her blog Life of Pippa about living with chronic illness. As an ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) sufferer, she is a huge advocate for inclusivity. She also shares with us her passions for theatre and literature.
Life of Pippa works to raise the profile of invisible disabilities like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Pippa shares her experiences of wheelchair accessibility, particularly on her home ground of Yorkshire.
5. When Tania Talks
Tania at When Tania Talks (@whentaniatalks) is a popular disability blogger living with Ehler-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Meares-Irlen Syndrome and Dyslexia. She’s also a mum and so shares about the trials and tribulations (and solutions and successes) of parenting with disability in the mix.
Tania’s personality is infectious and her writing style is really engaging, so it’s definitely one to enjoy. We absolutely loved her article Using Fashion as Self Care.
6. Carrie-Ann Lightley
@carrieannlightleyblog is the Insta handle of disabled micro influencer and wheelchair user Carrie-Ann. She’s definitely a disabled blogger we think you should be keeping an eye on. She’s funny and engaging, and shares gorgeous photos of her life in the Lake District. Living with Cerebral Palsy, Carrie-Ann has an interesting and informative take on the world and living with a disability.
7. Alex Dacy
Alex Dacy, well-known as @wheelchair_rapunzel, has a whole heap to teach us all about body confidence and acceptance. With 153,000 Instagram followers, she’s one of the disabled influencers from across the pond who we are keeping our eye on. There’s no escaping the fact that she’s a fashionista and a sex kitten!
8. Jordan Bone
Jordan Bone, @jbone89, also has a high number of followers with 137,000 people convinced she’s worth following. She’s been a popular fashion and beauty influencer for the last few years. She lives with paralysis from the chest down following a car accident as a teen, and has been candid on social media about her struggles with depression. Her honesty and willingness to share the hard times, as well as the good, is refreshing, especially in the world of ‘perfect’ fashion.
9. Grace Mandeville
If you’re looking for style inspo alongside glimpses of life in the great outdoors, then you’ll love Grace Mandeville (@gracemandeville). Living a remarkable life, with just one hand, Grace does 70s throwback style with aplomb. Expect a dash of sarcasm and a good amount of wit with this down-to-earth influencer from Somerset.
10. Jillian Mercado
Another influencer from over the Atlantic, with a large following, is Jillian Mercado (@jillianmercado). Describing herself as a ‘model, creative, activist, Latina & loving life’ you can expect posts which are energised, insightful and inspiring. Living with muscular dystrophy, Jillian is a wheelchair user (and has been since age 3), but hasn’t let that stand in her way to build a fabulous fashion career. Indeed, Jillian was the face of Beyonce’s fashion line in 2016.
11. Cailey Darling
Cailey Darling (@caileydarling) is a fabulous plus size influencer, but she’s also gaining valuable importance amongst disabled influencers. Her unapologetic brash approach is matched with plus size positivity. She’s also legally declared blind but refuses to let that stand in the way of creating bold and bright outfits which showcase her sassy and confident personality.
If we can all go further to learn more about disabilities, the world will become more inclusive and our lives will be richer too. Get up close and personal with the realities of everyday life for disabled individuals to realise the need for representation in the fashion industry,
Shop your favourite influencers’ style with their pre-loved wardrobes at Ebloggers.