Photoshoot With Autism
Siya Fashions based in the UK is a highly-acclaimed supplier of bespoke, Asian women’s wear, which they make in-house and deliver across the world. Their creations are simply stunning; a quick browse through their website reveals a wide array of stunning occasion-wear. Silks, taffeta, crystals, embroidery- they’ve got it all. With their rising popularity online, the Siya Fashions owners recently started looking for ways to expand their audience and link fashion with their local community. They quickly came across Mabz Beet and just like that, a perfect collaboration began.
With Bollywood styles bursting onto the fashion scene more and more in recent years, the demand for replica designer gowns has increased. Siya Fashions meets this need, providing a bespoke service to help bring to life the perfect dress you’ve seen in print or film. In addition, their own made-to-order collection mixes a range of wedding, party and occasion suits and dresses. The photographs are stunning! With a desire to promote their high-quality products and get involved with local causes, Siya Fashions enlisted the help of Mabz Beet, an aspiring actor and model.
Mabz Beet is non-binary and was diagnosed with autism as a child. Passionate about equality and human rights, Mabz has been involved in a number of campaigns to promote autism acceptance and help protect the rights of transgender people. They hope that in the not so distant future, “autistic…and transgender people will both be accepted by…society” and that “[their] lives will no longer be threatened by ignorance”1. As a strong campaigner and a passionate voice for both these previously side-lined communities, Mabz was approached by Siya Fashions to model in a product photoshoot. Keen to support local activism, Siya Fashions brought Mabz on board for the shoot, throwing their full support behind a message of inclusivity. The owners of Siya Fashions, says “we wanted to show that we fully support the fight for equal rights, for all people. It’s so important that everyone feels they can dream big, that society is on their side instead of dragging them down.”
The shoot took place in Manchester, bringing together stunning pieces from Siya Fashions recent collections and giving Mabz space to really shine. “They were so special to work with, we loved every moment of it,” says Siya Fashion. They continued, “Mabz was so passionate and ready to face a challenge but also so down to earth and worked hard to help us produce some amazing images.”
And they’re right. Some of the best from the day show Mabz in a long-sleeved velvet red top and a sweeping black sari edged in intricate gold embroidery. This is all topped off with a vibrant red lip and smoky eye shadows for a striking, confident look.
Mabz looks truly at home in front of the camera. It’s clear that opportunities like these need to be expanded to all people across society, that being transgender, autistic or deviating in any way from what society deems as ‘normal’, should not hold you back from greatness.
Despite their optimism, Mabz writes: “we still have a long road ahead.” While this may be true, there have been excellent advances in transgender rights in particular, in the past few years, with high profile role-models like Caitlyn Jenner (who Mabz dubs a “transgender heroine”1) calling for change. This progress is also of autism awareness, which has seen a number of online campaigns work towards opening up a conversation about autism and recognising it as a difference rather than an illness to be cured.
Siya Fashions, says “we want to show our support for people with autism, children with special needs and others who are not seen as ‘normal’ in our community. We should all have the right to be who we want to be.” This message is the centrepiece of Siya Fashions new photos, showcasing Mabz as a confident, self-assured individual, in charge of their own dreams and destiny.
An amazing opportunity for a great cause, this photoshoot will no doubt help raise awareness in the local community and beyond and encourage other businesses to support local activism.