By Emma Dunn via SWNS
A fashion designer has created the UK's first clothing collection for people with dwarfism.
Chamiah Dewey, 23, decided she wanted to make clothes for people of short stature - under 4ft 10 in - after she met a teenager with dwarfism and realized there was a gap in the market.
5ft 2in Chamiah started a fashion design course at London College of Fashion in September 2018.
In her final year, she started her business - Chamiah Dewey Fashion - and spent the next two years researching and designing before launching her first collection in February 2022.
Chamiah has designed casual clothes, occasion dresses and bridal wear.
Chamiah was able to show her looks off at London Fashion week in September 2022 and loved seeing the joy on the faces of her models - who say they feel "seen and heard."
"When I saw the models' faces when they put on the clothes and walked down the catwalk it was amazing," said Chamiah, from Southampton, Hampshire.
“They had so much joy and they were beaming.
“You could see they were finally seen and heard.
“I cried because it was just so amazing and impactful.
“All I wanted to do was make people with dwarfism or short stature feel confident and happy in clothes.”
Chamiah had always dreamed of being a fashion designer and her sights set on creating her own brand.
In July 2018 she met a woman with dwarfism who spoke to her openly about her condition and how it affected her.
“I was curious about where she got her clothes from as I’ve always loved fashion,” Chamiah said.
“She told me there was hardly anywhere she could get them."
Chamiah set out researching any brands out there and discovered there wasn’t anything in the UK tailored for people with dwarfism.
“People with dwarfism usually have wide hips so it makes it tricky to even fit into kids' clothes,” she said.
"I know some shop in the children's section but most buy from high street shops and make their own DIY alternations to the clothes.
“I knew going into university I was going to make a brand for them.
“I started putting my business together and had mannequins made so I could design my clothes."
She launched her first collection in February 2022 and took the brand full time in July of this year when she graduated.
Chamiah makes sure she creates her designs so they are suitable for people with dwarfism by avoiding button and zips.
"Lots of people struggle with dexterity so things like buttons can be really fiddly for them," she said.
"I avoid buttons and zips so I'll make lots of my dresses wrap dresses so they are easy to put on and use magnetic snaps instead of buttons."
Chamiah was ecstatic when she was able to show her clothes off at this year’s London Fashion week.
“It was the best day of my life,” she said.
“All the models were so happy when they put on the clothes because so many of them have never worn something that fits and flatters so well.
“It was so impactful seeing them so happy and smiling walking down that catwalk.
“They were just having fun.”
Chamiah is in the very early stages of her business, but hopes to take on investment next year to grow her brand and has her next collection planned for release in October 2022.
“I’m living my dream,” Chamiah said.
Her range is made for people of short stature and starts at £35 ($38.73).
Fatima Timbo, 25, a model with dwarfism and influencer, from Ebbsfleet, Kent, said: "Everyone deserves to wear clothes and feel empowered and normalized.
"I normally avoid wearing maxi dresses as they are a train on me and wear crop tops as they are then the right length on me.
"It was amazing to put on clothes that I don't have to tailor.
"I felt like a bad b****h walking down the catwalk.
"Everyone told me how gorgeous I looked.
"I felt amazing and just felt pure joy.
"It shows that a little woman is OK.
"I really want this brand to be successful and inspire and empower people."
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