Background More than 35 000 people in Serbia suffer from RA and more than a million suffer from some rheumatic or musculoskeletal disease. The Association of Rheumatic Diseases Patients of the Republic of Serbia (ORS) is a non-political, non-government and not-for-profit association of volunteers, aiming to:
- provide information on prevention, symptoms, available treatments, rehabilitation options and resocialization to people suffering from rheumatic diseases so to better inform and improve the quality of life for people suffering from rheumatic diseases, and
- raise social awareness and increase public understanding of the debilitating effects of rheumatic diseases.
Every year our young association celebrates the 12th October - World Arthritis Day, as a central event in our activities calendar. In 2012, as part of the celebrations, we organized a fashion show.
Objectives To explore and promote opportunities for designing clothes for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Through the visual effect of the fashion show, to bring general public closer to understanding the effects of rheumatic diseases.
Methods The fashion show, themed “Move to Improve”, was organized in cooperation with Belgrade Design District and Serbian Media, and was held during the 21st Maybelline Fashion selection manifestation. The models were volunteers - RMDs sufferers from ORS, who were escorted to the stage by journalists from First Serbian Television Station. The models wore clothes that had been specifically designed to suit people who cannot get dress themselves easily.
Results Young designers did their job very well. They created simple, usable, modern clothes without small buttons, zippers, ribbons. The audience supported very kindly our brave models. The show attracted strong media attention, with reports from this event broadcast by 15 TV and 6 radio stations. Also, 17 printed media and 25 internet portals published stories about the show. Daily newspaper “Blic” organized a mini internet competition for the best fashion show during the whole fashion manifestation and more than 1.3 million visitors voted. With 62% of the votes, “Move to improve” won the prize for the best fashion show during a significant fashion manifestation in Serbia.
Conclusions Our brave volunteers have shown that, in spite of their special needs, people with RMDs can and should follow and create fashion. They were seen and admired by very many people. The “Move to Improve” show is still talked about in Serbia – among ordinary people, health professionals and RMD sufferers …
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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