«When a disabled person passes in front of a shop window, he thinks that dress is not for him. And she’s not wrong. Because fashion remains an inaccessible world for those with non-conforming bodies. That’s why I decided to change perspective with a collection that was easy to wear and demolished the idea of disability as something incompatible with glamour”.
The inclusive fashion revolution of Giulia Bartoccioni – a thirty-four-year-old Roman entrepreneur and founder of the Iulia Barton fashion brand – is unhinging the stereotypes of disability, going far beyond fashion. It all started six years ago with the involvement of women and men belonging to social contexts not included in the fashion sector to transform them into models and new icons for the international catwalks. «We are the first in the world. Stylists and designers fear that a dress worn on a model in a wheelchair will not have the same effect, but that is not the case», explains Bartoccioni.
Advertising and disability
Today, December 3, however, when the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated, the entire advertising sector is in the dock. In America, more than a quarter of the population is disabled – precisely 26% of citizens – but only 1% of the commercials broadcast show people with disabilities. Nielsen photographed it: out of a sample of 450,000 advertisements broadcast in prime time, only 6,000 include disabled people and more than half of these promote products or services in the medical sector. Today, globally, the investment of brands to include disability in campaigns only accounts for 3% of total spending. Yet something is changing.
Obe, Osservatorio Branded Entertaniment, has launched a monitoring of accessible and inclusive marketing best practices, updating its database which already has four thousand cases of campaigns carried out in Italy and around the world. From the analyzes emerge realities of different industrial sectors engaged in effective narratives. Among the projects over the years, Hearing Hands by Samsung and Holiday Love by McDonald’s on deafness, the campaigns of Channel4 for the Paralympics and those of Coordown on down syndrome. More recently, the short film Lampi di has left its mark Angelini Pharma on neurological diseases and Adaptive campaigns by Tommy Hilfiger and Touch Cards of Mastercard.
The change taking place
Even traditional advertising is starting to represent disability in its daily life: in the latest European campaign by Philadelphia a person with a disability is part of the cast. But the challenge is to convey the message in an effective and engaging way. “We The 15” is the denunciation video of the homonymous movement to raise awareness of the visibility, accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities, who are equal to 15% of the world population.