Ukraine: people with disabilities learn to be fashion models
By Daria Shulzhenko. Published by Kyiv Post on 6 September 2019
(Kyiv Post only allows part of the article to be republished so please use the link below to access the full article)
People with disabilities take part in a catwalk show during Kharkiv Fashion Week in March 2018.
Photo by Ilia Pshenychnyi
When Iryna Soroka recalls the first time she took part in a catwalk show, she says it was the most exciting experience she ever had. Soroka, 24, has a congenital disability and needs a wheelchair to get around.
Until recently, her routine was similar to that of many other Ukrainians with disabilities: She worked as a freelancer and spent most of her time at home.
Now, she is among the students of Inclusive Model Agency, which says it is the first model agency in Ukraine devoted to preparing people with disabilities for a professional modeling career.
The agency started at the end of July in Kharkiv, the city of 1.4 million people located some 480 kilometers east of Kyiv. It currently educates 30 Kharkiv residents. They learn how to pose for photographers, perform in catwalk shows and prepare for the hyper-competitive industry of modeling.