(WOMENSENEWS)--The fashion industry is coming under steady pressure to widen the spectrum of beauty ideals.
Ad campaigns have called out unrealistic beauty standards, major department stores are adding plus-size mannequins and New York's recent child model laws are designed to protect all models under the age of 18 from exploitation.
But there's still plenty of room for more inclusion, said Danielle Sheypuk, Ms. Wheelchair New York 2012.
"People with disabilities are an untapped consumer market in terms of fashion," said Sheypuk, a clinical psychologist in New York. "We read the magazines, shop in stores, but nothing is ever pitched to us."
On Feb. 6, the first day of New York Fashion Week, which ends Feb. 13, one designer in particular seemed to understand. Carrie Hammer decided to shake things up and feature Sheypuk as the first person to "walk" the runway in a wheelchair.
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