Stylist’s Remarkable Women Awards celebrates the incredible Sinéad Burke.
Sinéad Burke has long made it her mission to highlight the exclusive nature of the fashion industry. Because, for a very long time, she felt excluded from fashion conversations and experiences due to her limited choices available to her as someone with achondroplasia.
When she was 16, she started blogging. A few years later, she co-founded the Inclusive Fashion and Design Collective (IFDC) with the US disability advocate Liz Jackson in order to “challenge designers who traditionally haven’t been thinking very diversely, to work with people with disabilities, and find beautiful solutions to these problems. Just last year, Burke became the first little person to attend the Met Gala.
And that’s why, at the Remarkable Women Awards 2020, she was awarded Change-Maker Of The Year.
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Sinéad Burke on the changes she wants to see in the fashion industry
Accepting her award, Burke tells Stylist: “I was born in 1990, a couple of months before Ireland elected their first female president. In Mary Robinson’s inauguration speech, she thanked the women of Ireland who voted for her saying they “didn’t just rock the cradle, they rocked the system”.
“These words have become an unintentional mantra to my own advocacy. For so many of us, systems and institutions have been designed without ever considering our needs. How do we not just challenge the system, but redesign it? I’m immeasurably fortunate to exist in an era populated with womxn who have shared the most vulnerable parts of themselves to transform legislation, to build communities and to ensure society is safe for people like them to exist. But, the burden should not always lie with the marginalised to narrate their suffering. How can we share the spaces we occupy to create platforms, not pedestals, for those who experience our world through a different lens?”
Burke finished by adding: “It’s very surreal to receive this award and I’m so grateful to Stylist for acknowledging my advocacy but I am just one person, this award is dedicated to every person who is rocking the system and will continue to do so. We need you.”
REMARKABLE WOMEN AWARDS 2020: FULL WINNERS LIST
Sharon Horgan: Woman of the Year
Fearne Cotton: The Hope & Grace award for Mental Health Advocate
Waad Al-Kateab: The Remarkable Strength Award
Jorja Smith: Musician of the Year
Samira Ahmed: The Glass Ceiling Award
Margaret Atwood: Icon of the Year
Sinead Burke: Change-Maker of the Year
Caroline Criado Perez: Equality Champion of the Year
Dina Asher-Smith: Sports Star of the Year
Adwoa Aboah: Mentor of the Year
Sian Clifford: Actor of the Year
Lizzie Carr: Inspiration of the Year
philosophy is the wellbeing beauty brand inspiring you to look, live and feel your best, and is the official partner of Stylist’s Remarkable Women Awards 2020.
Images: Nathan Pask
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.