At Tilting the Lens, our mission is to build an equitable and accessible world. We are ambitious to achieve this under our three pillars; education, advocacy and design. To further our collective education, we hosted a special edition of our “Conversations” series, where we had the honour of welcoming actress Selma Blair and models Aaron-Rose Philip and Ellie Goldstein – the recent cover stars of British Vogue’s May edition “Reframing Fashion” to join us for this panel discussion.
Hosted by Tilting the Lens CEO, fellow cover star and contributing Editor of the issue, Sinéad Burke, the panel discussed a diverse range of topics, from their experience on the set of British Vogue, what accessibility means to them and what we can do to help build a more accessible and equitable world.
Visibility is only one part of achieving real systemic change
The visibility and representation of Disabled models has helped in making so many people feel seen and heard. But it is important to also acknowledge the road that’s left to go and how much more we need to travel. The groundbreaking May issue of British Vogue reminds us that representation can’t be limited to the runways, campaigns and covers. Representation is equally needed in the room where decisions are made. We need CEOs, CMOs, chief financial officers, editor in chief, who bring lived experience and representation in those rooms across the industry to create true systemic change.
A mindset shift is required
Having a conversation about disability representation in fashion is essential in helping us reframe how we think about the aesthetics of accessibility. It opens up the topic to allow the idea of accessibility to become our collective opportunity and responsibility. We need to aim for a mindset shift in society that creates a new minimum standard of accessibility beyond just compliance. Creating spaces where people can show up, feel safe, and have a choice about when and where they participate. Because for too long disabled people have to do the labor themselves or are excluded because there wasn’t enough time or resources for them to be prioritized.
Accessibility is about progress and not perfection.
The May issue of British Vogue, “Reframing Fashion” represented a historic milestone in disability representation. Tilting the Lens supported the British Vogue editors, marketers, operations, digital and wider teams by providing insights and actionable advice, ensuring that the lived experience of Disabled people and better practices in accessibility were at the heart of this edition. And while actions like this are incredibly powerful in creating change, understanding what continues to be barriers and challenges is how we truly move the dial forward. To quote Tilting the Lens CEO, Sinéad Burke: ““If change is only embedded in the present, change will be a moment, not a movement.”
Read the British Vogue article by Tilting the Lens CEO, Sinéad Burke here.