Prosthetic limbs are usually designed more for function than style, which makes sense, obviously—but it can be a bummer for people who also, you know, wanna look fresh. That's where the Canadian company Alleles comes in.
@peculiartophat from @ampuseek writes: . "I love that I can walk down the street and get complimented on how cool my cover is instead of the typical “ What happened?” conversation. I think it resonates with people that I’m making a necessary medical device into a fashion accessory; that I'm showcasing my prosthesis as a unique part of my identity instead of having it just be “there.” When people feel comfortable and are happy to comment on how pretty my cover is, they stop feeling awkward about me having an amputation. Which, in a way, helps them remove their stigma around disability and helps me to feel more and more confident about being an amputee today. :)" . .Design: ALPINE _14K gold_black_ .Photo: @ampuseek .Thanks for sharing Emery, adore you xxx . ______________________________________________ If you would like to help shatter stigma surrounding disability in this space, please send a DM with your email address and we will provide you with a quick style guide :) . . . . . .#AllelesWomen #prostheticcover #LouderThanLabels #disabilityadvocate #ampuseek #allelesambassador #inclusivefashion
"[When] we started the Alleles studio, we were trying to solve a style problem," said the company's founders, McCauley Wanner and Ryan Palibroda on their website. "Not a limb one. In an industry saturated with robotic aesthetics and clunky contours, our prosthetic covers endeavour to transform something mechanical into something mechani-chic."
The made-to-measure designs start at C$325, though the artists at Alleles will also create pieces with custom designs starting at C$1500. In some cases, these relatively affordable covers have been life-changing for their customers.
The story of @biancairis PART ONE of TWO. . . I lost my leg when I was 23 years old. That’s a critical time in a person’s life when they are still figuring out who they are and coming into themselves. I was devastated, naturally. I was almost more concerned with my new “aesthetics” than the fact that I may never walk again. What was I going to do with all my high heels, mini skirts and dresses? That’s the mind of a 23 year old, I guess. I didn’t really fully understand what this new life would have in store for me. I am a hip disarticulate amputee, what that means is I have no residual limb. This means I have to wear a very big, heavy, bulky and painful prosthetic strapped around my waist to walk. On top of that, I also had a crushed hip and pelvis and I lost a signifcant part of my pelvis as well. Doctors said I would never have the ability to wear a prosthesis or weight bear on my amputated side. The good thing was that at that age, I also had a full amount of stubborness to fuel me. I looked those doctors in the face and said “F YOU! I WILL WALK AGAIN ONE DAY”. It would take me 15 years and 54 surgeries in total to make that happen but I did it! Throughout those 15 years, even though I wasn’t “ready”, I still had prosthetics made and forced myself to walk in them. I wanted to blend in, and look as “normal” as possible. That “normal" was a silicone barbie leg that weighed over 15 lbs that I would walk in. I use the term “walk” very loosely. I would strap my prosthetic on and count each step to my desired landing place and just stand in various places looking like a mannequin in pain, LOL. I also had to wear a pedometer because I knew I had maxium 600-800 steps in me a day. This has been my life up until last February when I had my FINAL hip reconstruction. . .STORY CONTINUED ON NEXT POST. . . .#alleleswomen #bionica #prostheticcover #loudandproud
The story of @biancairis PART TWO of TWO. . . While I was recuperating from that surgery (which took an entire year) I would spend my days in bed scanning Instagram accounts. That’s where I discovered @mamacaxx and her Alleles covers. My heart filled with fantasies of being fashionable again. Maybe I could wear dresses again!? Maybe I could feel beautiful again!? The first day I wore my prosthesis with my Alleles cover, I can't even begin to explain the power I felt, it is so much more than a cover to me. It is a symbol of my acceptance of what happened to me. Instead of hiding and trying to blend in like I did all those years. I have become a new person. I'm reinvented; "Bionica". I walk in public now with a new found confidence. Instead of the pitying stares I used to get when I was limping (no one ever knew I was an amputee or even had a prosthesis) people now respond positively, asking me about my cover or just simply giving me a smile or a thumbs up. I always thought I was sad because I lost my leg but I realize now that I was sad because I was afraid to be who I really was. A girl who loves fashion, loves people and wants to live life fully, colourfully. Loud and proud. Alleles has given me back what I lost... my confidence ❤️. . . .#alleleswomen #bionica #prostheticcover #fashionispower
And they're quite pretty to look at, too.
Girl on 🔥🔥🔥. . Go pick up the June issue of Glamour magazine and read the piece about @mamacaxx called 'My Beauty Moment of Truth'. 💜 We've heard from SO many of you that Cax has been such an inspiration in finding your own self-love, she continues to spread words of wisdom while sharing authentic/beautiful glimpses into her life. . Thank-you for being an advocate for so many. You have no idea how many people you have touched! . . .D E S I G N: baby yellow + silver MTL. . . . #alleleswomen #fashionicon #prostheticcover #mamacax
Can't wait for Anna to get her new set of Custom Peacock Inspired covers! They turned out so fun! 💚💙💜. . . . . #alleleswomen #allelescustom #prostheticcovers #peacockfeathers #teal #fashiondesign #accessorydesign #designstudio #alleles #prostheticleg #prosthesis #fashiondiversity #designforall #pinkboots
"I get to prove every day that fashion is life changing — not frivolous," Wanner said. What's more stylish than that?