Izzy Wheels: The sister duo transforming wheelchairs into fashion

Bridging the gap between fashion and disabilities (Picture: Izzy Wheels)

It goes without saying that fashion needs to be more accessible.

For those with disabilities, the choices are limited, and a lack of inclusive representation is an ongoing issue. However, a brand called Izzy Wheels is trying to bridge that gap.

Created by Irish sisters Ailbhe and Izzy Keane, the brand is challenging the status quo and showing the world that wheelchairs are more than a medical device and can be used as a tool of self-expression.

The idea for the brand stemmed from personal experience. Izzy was born with Spina Bifida and is paralyzed from her waist down. Having seen her wheelchair as a symbol of freedom, she never felt it expressed who she was.

Older sister Ailbhe was a student in The National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin and so created a range of colourful wheel covers for her sister’s chair for her final year college project.

After seeing how much Izzy loved the designs, Ailbhe continued to collaborate with a range of artists and designers to expand the range and since 2016, the venture has snowballed and turned into a full-time business.

The wheelchair covers are a delight for the eyes, with bright colours and abstract designs helping wheelchair users to express their individuality and fashion sense.

Ailbhe and Izzy Keane, the creators of Izzy Wheels (Picture: Izzy Wheels)

The sisters have collaborated with some of the world’s leading creatives including Camille Walala, Okudart and Malika Favre and both made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2018.

Last year, they partnered with Mattel creating matching covers for Barbies and kids and now have teamed up with the iconic and much loved Japanese character Hello Kitty.

The trademark pink and playful branding is present on every cover with prices starting at £124.70.

Hello Kitty X Izzy Wheels wheelchair cover (Picture: Izzy Wheels)

On their Instagram account, the sisters wrote: ‘Anyone who knew our founder @ailbhe.k as a kid knows how unbelievably obsessed she was with Hello Kitty!

‘Fun Fact: It was Ailbhe’s love of Hello Kitty’s cute character design and playful branding that made her want to study graphic design in art college. The Hello Kitty x Izzy Wheels collab plays an important part in our brand’s mission “To make the fashion and design world more inclusive”.’

Izzy Wheels wheelchair cover designed by Letitia Green (Picture: Izzy Wheels)

While there is still a long way to go in making fashion more attainable and inclusive to all, these sisters are most definitely reinventing the wheel.

You can shop the Izzy Wheels range here.

MORE : Burberry launches new campaign to support ‘voices of tomorrow’ with Marcus Rashford

MORE : Creative project celebrates the beauty of Somali fashion and culture

MORE : The quarter-zip 90s fleece is back – here is where to buy the best


READ  Laura Mercier has re-released her iconic tinted moisturiser in a more inclusive range of shades

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.