There is beauty in prosthetic limbs. It just needs more exposure, especially in the fashion industry. This is exactly what 18-year-old Iona Hay aims to do when she signed with specialist talent agency Zebedee Management.
In November 2021, Hay was scouted by the inclusive agency which works for greater representation of disabled people within the media. And the last few months saw Hay modeling for different fashion outlets, from designer to high street labels.
Hay was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, in 2008. Because of the disease, she had to have her leg amputated at six years old. Besides being a model, Hay is a fashion student, and she wants to showcase the beauty in prosthetic limbs. But for her or anyone else to do that successfully, she said confidence is important.
In an interview with The Independent, she said, “Inclusivity is key in the fashion industry now, we need to see everyone being represented, and I’m so happy to be a part of that.”
As of this publication, Hay still cannot share more details about the brands she has been working for until the campaigns launch. But she has shared that she’s working with a well-known luxury fashion brand as well as two high street brands.
Even as a child, Hay has never let her disability hold her back. Before her modeling stint, she has participated in skiing, gymnastics, and even philanthropy.
In the same interview, Hay stresses that she wants to show more people what can be achieved with prosthetic limbs, especially since she didn’t have that representation in the media growing up. And modeling has been a great experience for her so far. Hay hopes that her work inspires others to be more confident.
In the future, Hay hopes to design clothes for amputees, which is why she’s currently pursuing a degree in Fashion Design at a university in Edinburgh. If she were to become a fashion designer in the future, she wants to work on inclusivity and representation, especially for amputees.