November 5, 1993
Alexandra Kutas (born November 5, 1993) is the world's first runway model in a wheelchair, first fashion model with a disability in Ukraine, a public figure, and was an adviser to the mayor of Dnipro on the accessibility of urban infrastructure.
Alexandra Kutas was born in Dnipro. Due to a medical error at birth, she suffered a spinal cord injury and has been using a wheelchair from an early age. While still in secondary school, Kutas was a journalist and she entered a television and press studio. She interviewed various creative people, conducting programs, and covered festivals. When the studio won a UNICEF contest in 2009, Kutas was chosen as one of the best young journalists, and she was invited to New York for an award. Then Kutas became interested in psychology. After graduation Kutas entered the psychological faculty of Dnipropetrovsk National University, where she studied for four years, despite the near-total lack of disability access adaptations. As Kutas graduated from the university with honors, fighting began in the east of the country, and the wounded started to arrive in Dnipro. Kutas was a volunteer in a military hospital for three months. In 2011, Kutas first became interested in the fashion world. She was inspired by the work of British designer Alexander McQueen who used a model with a disability in 1999.
"Break Your Chains" Exhibition
In the summer of 2015, Kutas first took part in Ukrainian Fashion Week, where she met many fashion figures. On July 16, together with photographer Andrei Sarymsakov, she presented in Kyiv a photo exhibition entitled "Break Your Chains", which was also presented in the framework of Ukrainian Fashion Week. This fashion project, designed to break down public stereotypes about people with disabilities, gathered many positive responses from Ukrainian and international media. The American edition of The Huffington Post wrote:
Ultimately, Her courage and perseverance certainly inspire a lot of people with disabilities not to stop on their way to their dream. By and large, she is not just a person who has overcome unimaginable obstacles.
"VIY" Runway Show
In March 2016, Kutas began to cooperate with her American manager Blake Wind. Wind and Kutas used social media to build a network of thousands of contacts in the fashion industry. Italian fashion executive Maurizio Aschero connected Kutas to Ukrainian fashion designer Fedor Vozianov in the Fall of 2016. Vozianov gave her a central role in the show of his new collection. During two months of preparation for the show, Kutas gave more than 100 interviews. On December 30, she gave an interview to the news portal Newsy about the problems of the modern fashion industry, spotlighted by George Takei.
At the end of January 2017, Kutas and the team were working worked on the world's first fashion video with featuring a model with a disability. On February 3, 2017, the presentation of the autumn / winter 2017 show "Viy" was held. Kutas performed the main role in the show, where male models carried her on the catwalk on a throne made for the show. The event achieved was reported in 50 countries, by such sources as the Daily Mail, Vogue, and the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. The show also featured the fashion-video by Alexandra, entitled "Viy Prelude".
Runway of Dreams
In June 2017 Kutas came independently to NYC for a month long trip centered on participating in a gala fashion show for Runway of Dreams, in association with Tommy Hilfiger.
During her time in NYC, she had two well-received photoshoots. One is on commission for Vogue Ukraine Online. And it was the first editorial for Vogue Ukraine Online featuring a model in a wheelchair.
In August 2017, Kutas signed her first contract with a modelling agency. Till November 2017 she has been working with Strawberrifox, a modelling agency in Delhi. It is the first time a model with a disability from abroad has worked on the Indian fashion market.
Top 30 Under 30 Award
On December 5, 2017, Kutas was presented with the Kyiv Post Ukraine’s Top 30 Under 30 award, and was the first model so honored.
21st Fervent Global Love of Lives Award
On September 20, 2018, in Taipei City, Kutas became one of 17 winners selected from 2,616 candidates from all over the world.
Wheelchair-bound since birth, Kutas long dreamed of becoming a model, the president said. Hundreds of auditions and rejections later, she finally became her country’s first physically challenged model and, in the process, overturned the status quo and allowed the world to see true beauty.
- Lipi Upadhyay (2017-10-13). "World's first wheelchair-bound model Alexandra Kutas was simply the best showstopper at the India Runway Week". India Today (India). Retrieved 2017-11-10.
- Kayla Greaves (2017-03-06). "Alexandra Kutas, Ukraine's First Model Who Uses A Wheelchair, Is A Dream Come True". The Huffington Post (Canada). Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- Gurdeep Pandher (2016-05-25). "Wheelchair Fashion Model Alexandra Kutas Wants To Break The Chains of Social Discrimination". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- Harvey Day (2017-02-04). "Ukrainian model first to star in runway show in wheelchair". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- "Разорви свои цепи: фотопроект о людях с ограниченными возможностями" (in Ukrainian). Pink.ua. 2016-08-06. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- George Takei (2017-01-22). "The world is plenty ready--sad to see these agencies are not". George Takei. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- Liana Satenstein (2017-02-09). "Kiev Fall 2017 Vozianov". Vogue. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- Marta Rozpide (2017-02-28). "Alexandra Kutas: la modelo que desafía las pasarelas en silla de ruedas" (in Spanish). El Mundo (Spain). Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- Наталья Грищенко (2017-02-10). "Украинская модель на ивалидной коляске Александра Кутас произвела фурор участием в фэшн-клипе" (in Russian). ТСН. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- "Украинская модель в инвалидной коляске Александра Кутас покоряет американский подиум" (in Russian). tsn.ua. 2017-06-06. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
- "Александра Кутас о том, как покорить Нью-Йорк" (in Russian). vogue.ua. 2017-07-19. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
- "Meet the world's first wheelchair-bound professional model, Alexandra Kutas". hindustantimes.com. 2017-08-12. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
- Anna Yakutenko (2017-12-01). "Alexandra Kutas: Ukrainian woman breaks barriers as 'first professional model in wheelchair'". kyivpost.com. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
- "Tsai receives recipients of 21st Fervent Global Love for Lives Award". TaiwanToday. 2018-09-28.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alexandra Kutas.|
- Gaya Hidup (2017-06-03). "Kursi Roda Tak Hentikan Alexandra Kutas Berekspresi" (in Bahasa Indonesia). CNN (Indonesia). Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- Zubee Kibria (2017-07-28). "Alexandra Kutas: meet the disabled model challenging the fashion industry". Disability Horisons. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- AFP (2017-02-28). "Ukraine's first wheelchair model breaks taboos". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- Eλενη Μπεζιριανογλου (2017-03-05). "Η Alexandra Kutas είναι το πρώτο μοντέλο πασαρέλας σε αναπηρικό αμαξίδιο" (in Greek). Athens Voice. Archived from the original on 2017-04-02. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- An Ngọc (2017-03-02). "Người mẫu xe lăn đầu tiên tại Ukraine phá vỡ định kiến xã hội" (in Vietnamese). VTV. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- رنا الطوسي (2017-03-08). "في يوم المرأة العالمي.. قصة عارضة أزياء تميزت عن غيرها بإرادتها" (in Arabic). Aljamila. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- AFP (2017-02-28). "Le premier mannequin en chaise roulante brise les tabous" (in French). 7sur7. Retrieved 2017-03-27.