The July / August issue of Amplitude that comes out next week features a cover story on adaptive fashion. That’s a very rapidly growing market, according to Vogue, which recently (pre-pandemic) projected the industry would grow from $300 billion in annual sales to nearly $400 billion by mid-decade.

Of course, you can’t sell adaptive apparel without adaptive models, so their ranks are growing along with the apparel market. You can read about one of them (Brazilian LAKA Paolo Antonini) in our upcoming issue, plus a sidebar that introduces nine other high-profile amputee models. But that list only scratches the surface. So here’s a sneak preview of four other amputees making names for themselves in the fashion industry.

Kiara Marshall amputee model
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KIARA MARSHALL

Lives in: Brooklyn, NY
Limb difference: Right above-knee amputee since age 10 (auto accident)
Represented by: We Speak Model Management
Major campaigns: Target, Tommy Hilfiger
She says: “A few months after I left the hospital after my accident, a white man approached us, looked me in the eye and said: ‘Never let anyone call you disabled!’ It made me feel like being disabled was wrong and gross and something I should be ashamed of. I knew the guy was trying to be uplifting, but it messed with my identity in the years to come….It’s fine, because I let it be known now. Hi, my name is prouddisabledblackwoman and I live at 123 prouddisabledblackwoman pkwy….”
Follow: @naturallykiara

Amputee model Gideon Connelly
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GIDEON CONNELLY

Lives in: Tampa, FL
Limb difference: Left below-knee amputee since age 21 (motorcycle accident)
Represented by: Wilhelmina Models
Also known for: U.S. military service, Paralympic-caliber sprinting
He says: “Be excited to see those that you see everyday. Be excited for life, be excited for adventure. Be open to opportunities. If you expand your horizons, you will expand your mind. Close-minded people live uneventful lives and end up living vicariously through those around them who are open-minded. Think about these words next time you come to a crossroads. Be confident.”
Follow: @gideoncon

Ashley Young amputee model
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ASHLEY YOUNG

Lives in: London
Limb difference: Right below-elbow congenital amputee
Represented by: Zebedee Management
Also known for: Woman of Steel, an award-winning documentary about her life as a self-proclaimed “human cyborg”
She says: “Confidence is a skill that you need to learn and practice. Like everything, it doesn’t come easy, and it’s something you need to nurture every day. I have days where I fall flat on my face and look in the mirror and hate what I see. There are days when walking into the grocery store is just too much, because you know someone is going to stare. But then there are days where I just think, ‘I’m a bad ass, if I believe in myself I can work to achieve the goals I set.'”
Follow:
@orlandocyborgashley

Amputee model Jess Quinn
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JESS QUINN

Lives in: New Zealand
Limb difference: Right above-knee amputee since age 9 (cancer)
Represented by: Natural Model Management
Major campaigns: Bras N Things, Bendon Lingerie
She says: “Don’t take this life for granted. It can change within the blink of an eye. Don’t waste it wishing your body were different or wishing your life away. Take a moment to be grateful for all of the things you have, for all of the things you can do. Enjoy where you are right here, right now.”
Follow: @jessicaemilyquinn

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