Fashion is for Every Body

“I have always believed that fashion was not only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence.” — Yves Saint Laurent
"You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life." — Coco Chanel 
"Tomorrow isn't promised. If we move one grain of sand the earth is no longer exactly the same" — David Bowie

My name is Alicia Searcy. I was born with Choreoathetoid Cerebral Palsy and I'm wheelchair or walker-dependent. At the age of 51 I started a fashion and style blog called Spashionista (short for Spastic Fashionista) to raise awareness and acceptance of people with disabilities and non-sample sized bodies - especially within the fashion world - in Nashville, Tennessee.

In the span of 5 years I've shared my experiences covering everything from thrift-store shopping to Nashville Fashion Week. It soon became clear to me that I was not alone in wanting to feel included, accepted and even celebrated by the fashion community. What's more, many designers and shop owners welcomed the opportunity to broaden their horizons by gaining insight from diverse perspectives that were unfamiliar or under-represented. None moreso than Krystle Ramos, former owner of Pura Vida Vintage and Co-Producer of our inaugural runway show. She helped me realize all the work I had done so far needed to go to the next level. 

On September 10th, 2016 Fashion is for Every Body put on Nashville's first inclusive fashion runway show using models of various ages, shapes, sizes and abilities wearing designs by 11 of the region's best designers and vintage boutiques. Guests enjoyed light bites and a signature cocktail as well as a documentary which played during changing breaks about how the show's participants view their contribution to fashion and inclusion in today's Nashville. The sold-out event paid tribute to David Bowie's iconic influence on fashion, style and self-acceptance.

This project started as an attempt for me to prove that the concept of body positivity and inclusion in fashion has a place in Nashville, and that it's the right time for this idea. All of the fashion designers, models and volunteers that have stepped up proved that it's not just a possibility; it's really happening. We have the opportunity to show the country and the world that we can be the city that starts this inclusive movement.

So it makes sense to continue our mission as a non-profit organization. Moving forward, in addition to the annual runway show Fashion is for Every Body will do inclusive photo shoots for various local designers and boutiques. We will also award an endowment to selected designers as an incentive to pattern and produce inclusive or adaptive garments.

The future of inclusion in fashion is bright and limited only by society's preconceived notions. We can - and will - change those. Because Fashion truly is for Every Body.