History was made at Milan Fashion Week, as the first model with Deafblindness graced the catwalk – and what makes this news extra special is that the model, Mireia Mendoza Bonnin, is from our beautiful island of Mallorca.
Walking for the ‘I See’ collection from the creative designer Elvira Shipitsin, the designs were borne to empower you to ‘Speak, Be Seen and Be Heard’ and is a tribute to the burning power of love.
Mireia Mendoza Bonnin is 25 years old and was born deaf in Mallorca. After being operated on, Mireia was given a cochlear implant which has allowed her to have partial ability to hear and see. Sadly, Mireia knows that she is losing her vision and that one day she will wake up completely blind – which makes her courage and strength even more inspiring.
Mireia’s condition is called Retinitis Pigmentosa which at this time does not yet have a cure. To live knowing that you can lose sight and hearing bears a heavy psychological burden, but Miriela expresses that ‘the truth is that I am brave and happy because life is worth living, despite the difficulties’.
A collection that inspires
The ‘I See’ Esh by Esh Collection was presented at the opening of Milan Fashion Week at the SAVO Event. The collection inspires us to hear and see the problems of others and to make the first step by simply saying ‘can I help you?’. This is an encouragement to everyone, regardless of their impairment, to have a voice in society, to be noticed and to be understood. Elvira Shipitsina, designer and creator of the Esh by Esh fashion label wanted to do exactly that and ‘let that help be in fashion’.
The term ‘I See’ is a response given when someone understands you, and even a person with Deafblindless can recount the same answer. Elvira believes that ‘one doesn’t only see with their eyes, but also with their heart’.
One of the main colours of the collection is red, because when you think of love you think of the colour red and no matter what the colour of your skin, hair, or outfit is and even if you are incapable of seeing and hearing, there is red blood flowing from within you.
“We want love, help and compassion to never become extinct from our daily life or become a rare form of human expression” – Elvira Shipitsina
The Esh by Esh brand was founded in the cold climate of Latvia when Elvira noticed that in winter the country’s landscapes became black and grey, with people reflecting this in the clothes that they wear. The brand is therefore full of colour as Elvira believes that you can truly brighten up the world with the clothes that you wear.
The inspirational project was supported by the Balearic Association for People with Deafblindness (ABASOC), who not only helped to find Miriela, but gave her the support to undertake the runway. The project was a huge success, allowing the international community to become aware of the Deafblindness community and their capabilities to achieve the highest goals. I for one am inspired by the courage Mireia has shown to do something that most people in this world would find daunting.
Photos courtesy of Esh by Esh