Fashion & Disability an Open Letter

Fashion & Disability an Open Letter

In 2018, it is not enough to have simply survived life’s obstacles – or even to thrive despite them. For me, as a paraplegic model, ambassador, parathlete, wife, and woman, to live my best life is to embrace my challenges.

Everyday, I accept myself. My legs, though at times I dislike them, are mine; though I don’t see them represented or reflected in the magazines and stores I browse in, they are here to stay. I’ve learned to love my body for all that it is. But still in 2018, and despite great progress towards diversity, it feels that there is much to be done to convince fashion to respect bodies like mine.

There are people like me all over the world growing up without any reference to their part or place in society; without seeing others, like themselves, living a full and fulfilling life. Still, it is as though having a disability is to be invisible – to have the full spectrum of who you are and who you could potentially become, ignored.

Beyond navigating the stigma, misconceptions, prejudice and doubts about what I, as a disabled person can achieve, I am working passionately to make sure that I see myself represented

samanta bullock wheelchair model abled body young
Before my accident – Samanta Bullock 1992

in my industry. I challenge myself to work fearlessly in fashion, so that others like me feel confident that they can not just survive their own obstacles, but thrive and embrace them too.

I want to make the industry I’ve worked in for 30 years, more inclusive. My drive comes from my experience growing up, working as a model in Brazil; having my accident and then feeling like my dreams had been taken away from me. This stage in my life lead me to the next – to becoming number one tennis champion in Brazil; to being signed to a modelling agency, representing top brands like the BBC and Toyota; and to featuring on the runways at London Fashion Week. Now, I’m channelling my passions towards making a difference – towards an industry that embraces and celebrates disabled bodies.

I want the next generation of disabled children and adults to see people just like them, working in all aspects of the fashion industry. I want to see disabled designers, stylists, makeup artists and photographers involved in major brands and fashion shows. In fashion’s future, there’s a place for blind and partially sighted people, deaf people, people in wheelchairs, people with learning disabilities – disabled people who have all sorts of abilities.

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Picture by Pavzo with Louise Linderoth at London Scouts LFW

I would like to work with all stakeholders in the industry to make fashion reflect society more accurately, and to create an environment wherein everybody feels welcome. In 2018, yes we have the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, River Island and ASOS to admire for their work towards this change; we have models like Kelly Knox and Madeline Stuart to inspire a new generation of models. But in 2018 I would like to see the leadership of these brands and power of these people’s stories motivating the entire fashion industry.


In 2018 it is not enough to leave the weight of inclusion on the shoulders of a few key players. Inclusion is about surviving and thriving together, embracing each other. Inclusion is about everybody – including you.


London Organic – What Fascinates Me About Working with Them

London Organic – What Fascinates Me About Working with Them

wheelchair model samanta bullock fashion show
London Organic PR

The fashion industry in the UK is booming more than ever, and that’s because of all the amazing designers, labels, brands and models. But, a major factor in why UK designers get so much exposure is down to PR companies that work tirelessly to push them further. Now, recently I was fortunate enough to collaborate with a wonderful PR company called London Organic.

Predominantly, they work with UK designers that are unique and stand out from the crowd. They love labels that reflect the British fashion culture with amazing style, while also representing each and every diverse group that exists in London. Personally, when I was working alongside London Organic, I was mesmerized by the way they actually support different designers.

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Champagne at London Ethnic Event

They literally cover every angle; whether it’s assisting with production so that items are showcased in the best light, conducting photo shoots that capture creativity or advertising the label on social media, they leave no stone unturned. Now, when I met London Organic, it was at a pop-up boutique.

So, the first way I joined forces with them was to take part in some of their photo shoots. This was brilliant, because not only did I get to try on a vast array of different pieces, I also got to see behind the scenes of a London Organic shoot. Judging by the quality of pieces that I got to adorn during the photoshoot, you can tell that the renowned PR company take great time to carefully select who they support.

Of course, their speciality lies in helping emerging talent reach the top, but they still ensure that the labels they work with produce top class items. All throughout the shoot, London Organic displayed a sense of pride in every single designer that is under their wing, which is fantastic because that attitude is what’s going to help UK fashion continue to thrive.

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London Organic PR Pict: Sikandarphotowala

Other than being part of the photo shoot, I also got to check out some of their products which they make themselves. Their products mainly revolve around organic face and skin creams; flawless skin complements fashion pieces and adds to the overall beauty during a shoot. I’ve got to say, I was super impressed by all of their products.

Why? Because not only did they smell divine and feel fabulous, they were full of natural ingredients which will only benefit your body. Nowadays, there’s too many companies within the fashion industry that produce chemical-based creams, which I believe isn’t a good thing. Therefore, it was nice to see London Organic focusing on being fully organic.

London organic PR samanta bullock wheelchair model
London Organic PR Picture by Akhussainphotography

My day with London Organic at the pop-up boutique was very fulfilling, and I had a tremendous time being part of the photo shoot, meeting all of the designers, and exploring their range of face and skin creams. If you’re a designer that needs help to progress, or you’re someone that wants a lovely, natural skin cream, then I’d highly recommend London Organic!

4 Party Outfits

4 Party Outfits

I had the opportunity to do this photo shoot with amazing brands like Paul Magen, Valdenize

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Blue Dress from Valdenize Soares. Picture by Sikandar

Soares, Judith Leiber represented by Sangeeta Assomull and with the fantastic photographer Sikandar. The stylist was Saskia Rowlans and the makeup was by Hanna Soraya.

The outfits are amazing. It was a very cold day, around -1 degrees Celsius and we were taking the photographs outside. I think you will agree that the results are stunning. Special thanks to Saskia for putting everything together.

The lifestyle of a model is not all glamour. It requires a lot of hard work sometimes in extreme temperatures.  It was a great pleasure to work on this project with such great people.  We had great fun working as a team and the results you can see in the video below.

If you would like to follow any of these brands or professionals on Instagram here are their addresses.

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Makeup by Hana Soraya Hand bag Judith Leiber – Sangeeta Assomull



Sikandar – Photographer- maccanoniphone
Saskia Rowlads – Stylist – saskiarowlans21
Sangeeta Assomull – Judith Leiber Couture – saengeeta_assomull
Hanna Soraya – Makeup Artist – hanasoraya
Valdenize Soares -Designer – valdenizesoares
Paul Magen – Jewellery – paulmagenjeweller

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Judith Leiber Handbag Jewellery by Paul Magen

Peter Twiss – A Touch of Class

Peter Twiss – A Touch of Class

Hi guys,

samanta bullock peter twiss wheelchair model organic jacket wheelchair friendly
Peter Twiss

I met the Peter Twiss at the London Ethnic pop up shop on Kings Road in London and fell in love with his jackets and the ethos behind the design. Peter salvages luxurious silk fabrics making the products sustainable as well as being of the very highest quality. 

He is a London based women’s wear designer who spent much of his childhood in Assam, North East India. He draws on inspirations from his childhood which are reflected in his collections and provides him with his unique signature style.

samanta bullock peter twiss wheelchair model organic jacket wheelchair friendly
Peter Twiss at the launch of the Adriana Chiari Magazine

Peter has studied at Central St Martins in London and the Surrey Institute of Art and Design and gained work experience with Betty Jackson and Sarah Arnett and as a freelance designer for various London Boutiques before setting up his own label.

Peter’s love of his homeland Nagaland, North East India is clear, not only through the influence it has on his designs but also through his charity work. He has helped raise funds to improve education and medical facilities along with bringing water and electricity supplied to a small rural village in Akuman, Nagaland. He returns to Nagaland twice a year where he has a studio and manufacturing base. Peter explains how his homeland inspires his collection; I find it so much easier to be creative and realise new styles when I leave the developed zone and get off the beaten track closer to nature”

I have one of Peter’s jacket that I absolutely love. The designs are perfect for me as a wheelchair user with the tight cuffs meaning they stay clean and do not rub on my wheels. 

Wearing Peter Twiss at a meeting at Innovision
I recently went to a party to launch the sale of the range at the Dragana Peresic store in London, met Peter again and other like-minded people in the industry, and celebrated the jackets going on sale:
Dragana and Peter share a philosophy of quality products for life and are trying to not to conform to the fashion industry’s current fast cycle but to slow it down and help customers appreciate real quality and style.
samanta bullock peter twiss wheelchair model organic jacket wheelchair friendly
His collection at Dragana Perisic this month.

This week there is a  25% discount of Peter Twiss jackets at the Dragana Peresic. I would recommend you visit the store and see these beautiful jackets for yourself. 

For further information visit:
samanta bullock peter twiss wheelchair model organic jacket wheelchair friendly
I am wearing Peter Twiss at Regents Park.
samanta bullock peter twiss wheelchair model organic jacket wheelchair friendly
Peter Twiss and Regia London. What a combination!