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New York Fashion Week 2014: First model in wheelchair at Carrie Hammer show

A model walks the runway at the CARRIE HAMMER 2014 New York Fashion Week Show on February 6, 2014 in New York City.
Photo by Craig Barritt

The first wheelchair bound model made her appearance at New York Fashion Week. She made history as a model in the Carrie Hammer fashion show in New York City, according to a Feb. 13 report from ABC News.

Dr. Danielle Sheypuk has been in a wheelchair ever since she was five years old due to spinal muscular atrophy. She is a New York-based clinical psychologist and was crowned Ms. Wheelchair New York in 2012.

Sheypuk was never interested in modeling until last year when she met Hammer at a gala in New York. Sheypuk told Hammer to include entrepreneurs, beauty pageant contestants and CEOs in her runway show instead of typical runway models.

Sheypuk says of her experience, “I remember tons and tons of flashbulbs going off and people applauding a lot. The consensus afterwards was that the models, all of us, we exuded this happiness and pride that infiltrated the room, and the audience reacted.”

She also has a message for the fashion industry, “It’s important for the fashion industry to demonstrate how to do this because we really have no role models out there in terms of the fashion industry. The only way we can really normalize being in a wheelchair and increase acceptance is if everyone is listening.”

Dr. Danielle Sheypuk will be featured in the Raw Beauty Project this spring. This project features glamorous photos of women with disabilities. Carrie Hammer wants to include more role models at her second New York Fashion Week show this fall.