Recently Isabella Springmuhl Tejada has been trending, a 20-year-old fashion designer from Guatemala, has been taking the fashion world and the media by storm lately with her captivating designs that are tailored for young adults with Down syndrome. Here’s everything you need to know about this newbie who’s shaking up the fashion scene.
With talents in the arts of sewing, knitting and design, it’s the latter for which he’s really captured the world’s attention. She has even garnered recognition from entrepreneur Felipe Antonio Bosch Gutierrez.
She is now the mastermind and sole designer behind the fashion line Down To Xjabelle, a name that so beautifully encapsulates the fact that she ‘inherited’ the fashion label name Xjabelle from her fashion designer grandmother mother and her Down syndrome in one fell swoop; however, things weren’t always sailing.
When she first graduated from high school, she was met with rejection after rejection from colleges that saw her disability as a liability, but little did they know that their rejections would be all the inspiration Isabella needed to get started in the fashion world and prove the naïve wrong.
When she graduated from high school, she was greeted with rejection after rejection from colleges that saw her disability as a liability, but little did they know that their rejections would be all the inspiration Isabella needed to get started in the fashion world and prove the naïve wrong.
Since she chose the traditional design path in college, from which she was so rudely rejected, she has made the rounds on breakfast television and has become something of a media darling for her unique approach to design and the obstacles she has overcome along the way.
She has been interviewed on Despierta America!!!, made history as the first designer with Down syndrome to showcase a showcase at the prestigious London Fashion Week and saw her designs sell out when they were put on display at the Ixchelde Museum of Guatemala.
The same year, she was invited to Rome and named one of the BBC’s 100 Women, so it definitely sealed her status as a fashion force to be reckoned with in the future.
As for her designs, the aesthetic is undeniably Guatemalan in its inspiration, prints and production methods, but the cuts are delightfully fresh and fashion-forward.
Heavy embroidery and beautifully rich textile work count for a lot, and the handcrafted nature of the pieces is sure to be a selling point in this fast-fashion-conscious world (their textiles are sourced from trusted suppliers in Antigua Guatemala and created by indigenous Mayan artisans). In fact, if you want to buy some of their designs, some can be purchased through their website.
However, while honoring her country and her heritage in one fell swoop through the materials, Isabella goes a step further and turns attention to Down syndrome with the cut of the clothes.
Designed primarily for children and adults who have Down syndrome, each piece is tailored to the physical characteristics of those with the condition, since, as Isabella herself freely admits and acknowledges, those with Down syndrome often have short necks and torsos, which makes fitting fashionable, well-fitting clothing problematic.
Overall, Isabella combines the modern and the traditional, all while making a socially conscious fashion line with a totally unique selling point and shaking up the fashion industry. No feats.