Esihle walks for Gert-Johan Coetzee. Image: @esihlemchunu Instagram

Esihle for Gert-Johan Coetzee: Disabled model pushes boundaries

Esihle becomes the talk of the modelling industry, walking for designer to the stars Gert-Johan Coetzee. Take a look…


Esihle walks for Gert-Johan Coetzee. Image: @esihlemchunu Instagram

A decade ago, the fashion industry was not known for embracing diversity. In 2022, the ad campaigns we see, the designers, and the models are not the usual blue-eyed and blonde individuals who all looked the same.

Esihle Mchunu, from King William’s town, in the Eastern Cape, is pushing the boundaries of the norm of what a model should look like.

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Model and activist Esihle recently walked for famous South African designer to the stars Gert-Johan Coetzee.

Coetzee, who’s always been a champion for diversity and inclusion, being the first designer in South Africa to feature Thando Hopa who’s a model living with albinism. Now he’s cast the differently abled model in his latest fashion show.

“He was so welcoming and so warm and if it wasn’t for people like him in the industry who are ready to embrace people like me, I wouldn’t have made it that far,” said Mchunu.

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We’re now living in an era where fashion is embracing all types and sizes of models. Esihle has made it her mission to pave the way for differently abled models to shine.

“It’s not easy. Apart from imposter syndrome, there isn’t a lot of representation so it can make it hard for people to believe that a disabled person can be in an industry like this,” Mchunu told Sowetan.

Keep paving way for other differently able models, Esihle! We see you.

Strike a pose: Esihle Mchunu shines as a differently abled model. Image: @esihle_Mhluzi Instagram

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