Style Aide chats with Emma McClelland, the incredible woman behind Kintsugi Clothing
Kintsugi Clothing designs fashionable, accessible clothing with disabled women in mind.
Emma 32, was born in Belgium and lives in Manchester. Before setting up Kintsugi Clothing, she was working as an editorial manager with a law firm. The idea for the company started to form when she was watching the Paralympics and wondering whether any of the athletes came across any annoying issues regarding their kit/clothing. After watching a TED Talk by disability fashion stylist Stephanie Thomas, talking about some of the issues disabled people encounter in terms of clothing and dressing, she realised there was a bigger problem here. She started talking to occupational health professionals and people across the disabled community and it went from there.
Kintsugi is taken from the Japanese art form and philosophy of kintsugi, where broken pottery is mended with gold lacquer. The gold actually accentuates the cracks, making the object more valuable and unique. As a philosophy it really reframes the idea of being 'broken' and shifts our perspective so that we see the beauty in imperfection.
Emily really wants Kintsugi to be known for making 'inclusive fashion' mainstream. Her ambition is to work with stores like John Lewis or Selfridges, get some concessions going in their physical locations and get people thinking about universal design and disability representation.