Australian Fashion Week struck as wheelchair users struggle on the catwalk

0

Australian Fashion Week is criticized for promoting ‘inclusiveness’ on catwalks, despite the last runway being barely accessible for wheelchair users

Australian Fashion Week organizers have been criticized for promoting ‘inclusiveness’ but making their latest runway barely accessible for wheelchair users.

After Friday’s Future of Fashion event, which saw multiple designers showcase their collections, model and Paralympic athlete Rheed McCracken struggled to move his wheelchair on the catwalk, which was covered in shredded paper.

Confronting footage showed the decorative scraps getting caught in the athlete’s wheels as other models walked ahead of him.

Outrage: Australian Fashion Week organizers have been criticized for promoting ‘inclusiveness’ but making their latest runway barely accessible to wheelchair users. Pictured: Models Jessica Gomes (left) and Charlee Fraser (right) with Paralympian Rheed McCracken (center) on Friday

While McCracken was dressed in PE Nation attire, the catwalk was a combined show and was not overseen by a specific designer.

An onlooker shared the footage on TikTok, after which a follower said such moments “are common” at fashion shows.

‘Fashion shows that accessibility doesn’t fit the catwalk aesthetic that has to stop. This is common,” they wrote.

Another added: ‘I like what they’re trying to do, trying to get everyone involved, but [it] unfortunately just not well executed by the organisers.’

Hazard: After Friday's Future of Fashion event, which saw multiple designers showcase their collections, McCracken struggled to move his wheelchair on the runway, which was covered in shredded paper

Poorly planned: confrontational footage showed the decorative scraps getting tangled in the athlete's wheels as other models continue their walk in front of him

Hazard: After Friday’s Future of Fashion event, which saw multiple designers showcase their collections, McCracken struggled to move his wheelchair on the runway, which was covered in shredded paper

Impractical: McCracken struggled to navigate the shredded paper on stage

Impractical: McCracken struggled to navigate the shredded paper on stage

Criticism: An onlooker shared the footage on TikTok, prompting a follower to say such moments 'are common' at fashion shows

Criticism: An onlooker shared the footage on TikTok, prompting a follower to say such moments ‘are common’ at fashion shows

Unimpressed:

Unimpressed: “Showing disabled models isn’t inclusive unless it’s accessible to them too,” noted a TikTok user

“Showing disabled models is not inclusive unless it is also accessible to them,” noted a third TikTok user.

Another model in a wheelchair struggled with the same set design, prompting caftan designer Camilla Franks to take the stage and push her through the paper.

A guest at Fashion Week told Daily Mail Australia: ‘It was so nice of Camilla to help but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

‘The directors clearly wanted to look inclusive, but took no concrete measures to [make the runway] fully inclusive.’

Helping hand: Another model in a wheelchair struggled with the same set design, prompting caftan designer Camilla Franks to take the stage and push her through the paper

Helping hand: Another model in a wheelchair struggled with the same set design, prompting caftan designer Camilla Franks to take the stage and push her through the paper

Daily Mail Australia has reached out to the organizers of Australian Fashion Week for comment.

Though McCracken did not elaborate on the incident, he later spoke of his pride in participating in the event by writing on Instagram, “Future of fashion runway done.”

Australian Fashion Week closed on Friday with high-profile guests including Jodi Gordon, Zac Efron’s ex Vanessa Valladares, Tammy Hembrow and Jodhi Meares.

Eyewitness:

Eyewitness: “It was so nice of Camilla to help, but it shouldn’t have happened,” a guest at Fashion Week told the Daily Mail Australia.

Advertisement

.