Isabella Springmuhl Tejada

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Isabella Springmuhl Tejada
Born (1997-02-23) 23 February 1997 (age 22)
Occupationfashion designer

Isabella Springmuhl Tejada (nickname, Belita; born 23 February 1997)[1] is a Guatemalan fashion designer. She is noted for reportedly being the first fashion designer to have Down syndrome. Her designs were showcased at the International Fashion Showcase segment of London Fashion Week in 2016. The same year she was voted one of the BBC 100 Women.


Springmuhl is the youngest of four children. Her maternal grandmother was a talented designer herself, and she displayed talent as a young girl in drawing and making clothes for her dolls. After graduating from college as a bachelor in Sciences and Letters, she applied to study fashion but was rejected because of her Down syndrome. She was eventually admitted to a school to study it.[2]


In her designs, Springmuhl is influenced by Guatemalan folklore. She has worked with numerous indigenous Guatemalan artists who are an influence on her. She makes accessories, wallets, ponchos and dresses, inspired by the culture of her country. She has also makes clothing designed especially for people with her condition.[2] Her designs are typically vibrant, with colourful floral embroidery using old Guatemalan textiles. The BBC says of her designing: "She has her own unique design process. It starts with hand-picking vintage, authentic Guatemalan textiles from her trusted supplier in Antigua which are then taken back to her atelier and worked on by a seamstress and an embroidery expert, all according to Isabella's specifications."[3]


In 2015, Springmuhl was invited to showcase her work at the Ixchel Museum of Indigenous Textiles and Clothing in Guatemala. It was a success, and she sold out of her collection. She has since grown in popularity, and her designs were shown in Panama.[2][3] In 2016 her dresses were showcased at the International Fashion Showcase segment of London Fashion Week. In October 2016 she was invited to Rome to showcase her designs. For her contribution to fashion and work, despite her condition, she was voted one of the BBC 100 Women in 2016.[2]


  1. ^ "Isabella Springmühl de Guatemala rumbo al London Fashion Week 2016". National Down Syndrome Congress. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Quién es Isabella Springmühl, la exitosa diseñadora de moda con Síndrome de Down" (in Spanish). 17 September 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b Khawaja, Ahmen (29 November 2016). "100 Women 2016: Designing clothes for people with Down's syndrome". BBC. Retrieved 8 December 2016.