Victoria, white woman with brown hair, is sitting in a brown chair with her blue mobility aide balanced on the arm. She wearing a black jumper and trousers, is holding a cup of tea and smiling to the camera.
Victoria, white woman with brown hair, is sitting in a brown chair with her blue mobility aide balanced on the arm. She wearing a black jumper and trousers, is holding a cup of tea and smiling to the camera.

When I joined Unhidden, I knew that I had been invited to participate in something really special. As a disabled person, I know the struggle of finding clothing that fits right- I have Mast Cell Disorder, which can make finding clothes that feel comfortable and that don’t react to my skin really difficult- labels are well and truly the enemy! Victoria and I met three years ago, where all great friendships begin- online. As new business owners, we quickly bonded over the highs and lows of not just being new entrepreneurs but also working within the disability and access space. 

Being a part of Unhidden over the past few months has given me a front-row seat to the incredible work happening behind the scenes and everything coming up. I sat down with Victoria the day after her Vogue article came out to chat candidly about life as a disabled entrepreneur, her hopes and dreams for the brand and the future.

Rachael, a white woman with long brown hair wearing a black shirt and yellow jersey culottes is standing with Victoria, a white woman with mid length brown hair wearing a purple pussy bow shirt and blue jersey culottes and holding a blue mobility aide. They are both smiling at the camera.


Unhidden is in Vogue! What does that mean to you?

It is literally a dream come true; because that's all I ever thought it would be, a dream! Years of just trying to survive in the industry meant giving up that own label dream- now I'm determined to get Unhidden on the front cover!

What were the model’s reactions to appearing in the article?

Glorious; I love that Jess's reaction came via DM because she has a google alert on her name so Vogue tipped her off before I could! Kate's reaction made me cry.. Isaac's made me chuckle he's so laid back despite the exceptional things he does I love it. Moeed is a VIBE every time I see and meet him and his reaction just made me smile so much- there's that sort of moment of disbelief then seeing them realise what they are looking at.. It's very wholesome and makes me so emotional!



Vogue was on your vision board! So what’s on the new vision board?

Unhidden on the FRONT COVER of Vogue! They are committed to better representing disability and fashion- that means they need to support adaptive designers too; there is enough of us around the world for them to make that possible in multiple editions, not just once. I have also put the Met gala on the vision board; either to dress someone there or to just get disability represented full stop- that stair case can handle a gloriously designed stair lift. I also put a spa and a beach image on there because- goodness do I need a bit of a holiday!

A close up of Victoria's visionboard - a framed pictures of 12 smaller images including Unhidden on the front cover of Vogue, money, a beach, text reading "big brand collaborations" and the red carpet steps from the Met Gala

How has your health been? (asked with permission!) 

My health has been it's usual self mostly- unpredictable, good days and bad. The pain is increasing as is the reduction in mobility- it's really hard to get further diagnoses and treatments and when I'm super busy it tends to fall to the back of the to do list but having realised how much I am having to adapt now means I am looking at further support- wheelchairs and PA's etc.

What advice would you give to other aspiring disabled entrepreneurs?

Use your community; it is much easier to get fellow disabled and chronic sick people to support you and understand the challenges that you will face to then give you the confidence to go 'mainstream'; plus we do all network well together! There are some great groups on LinkedIn; join them! Also LinkedIn is really an unsung hero for disabled entrepreneurs, I cannot recommend it enough- whether you disclose your disability or not, it has some great tools that are free and will help you grow your platform to connect you with more people which is what entrepreneurship is about- contacts and networking! And also listen to your instincts; there will be people who view you/ your business as a tick box exercise- sometimes it's still worthwhile, sometimes you have to step back from people. Don't be afraid to stand your ground and say no; you do not have to accept crumbs.

What about disabled and neurodiverse people wanting to enter and make it in the fashion industry?

Firstly, you have to keep in mind there is little to no DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) training in fashion brands at present; there may be in retail but even then, not enough and not around disability. Look at potential places you want to work and check their glass-door reviews for company culture. While you can absolutely advocate to be included, be prepared for a harder battle to get hired, to get access, to get accommodations. I'm afraid it is very damning; it is a tough industry for non disabled people so really think about what you're willing to accept and pick your battles! I don't think a degree is necessarily what you need; demonstration of creativity, passion and a good portfolio is your key. Being innovative in how you approach brands and stand out is the secret to success, as well as knowing as much as you can about each brand/ area you want to work in; be data driven even, the more you can demonstrate what drives you and what your focus is the more desirable you become- I am lucky that adaptive fashion is my hyper focus, so don't be afraid to utilise where your skill set lies. Finally; do not tolerate bad behaviour- 'call it out with kindness' where possible. We are not yet in the safe position of being able to be labelled defensive or difficult; there will always be an excuse or reason that is claimed not to be related to your conditions.

 Written by Rachael Mole