The Cerebral Palsy Foundation announces its third annual Design for Disability (D4D) Fashion Show and Gala – an event showcasing breakthrough innovations in fashion for people with disabilities. The event will take place Wednesday, May 9th, from 6:30 – 10 PM at Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street.

D4D is an elegant and energetic evening which challenges perceptions about what is. This unique event, featuring student-designed looks that are not only fashion-forward, but also accessible has quickly become an annual highlight amid growing interest in universal design.

Acclaimed fashion designer Anna Sui is this year’s D4D Design Mentor. Over the past months, Anna has been mentoring fashion design students from F.I.T., Pratt Institute, and Parsons The New School of Design, as they explore challenges in fit, closures, durability, and form to create collections which address the unique physical needs of people with disabilities. The outfits will be showcased in a high- powered runway show, featuring notable and accomplished individuals in the world of disabilities.

Sui says “I’ve always been affected by how a bold assertion of color and whimsy can bring so much to the world and people who live within it. It’s been joyful and meaningful to see how this sensibility applies so spectacularly to this work.”

The evening will kick off with a unique Virtual Reality experience to give guests a first-hand look at the challenges of a life lived as a non-verbal individual in a wheelchair and aims to overcome common misperceptions associated with their experiences.

“This year, we’ve taken the gala to a whole new place,” said CPF CEO, Richard Ellenson. “People will take a transformational journey. The VR experience will let us experience the depth of how we misperceive others, and the runway show will allow us to celebrate not only the models with disabilities and the fashion designers, but also our own recalibration as we see disability in a proper light: bright, vivid, and with a true measure of gorgeousness.”

Models this year include Madison Ferris, who starred as Laura Wingfield in Sam Gold’s acclaimed Broadway production of The Glass Menagerie; Jessy Yates, the first physically disabled person to be admitted to Yale’s Graduate School of Drama; and Andrea Dalzell, a former Miss Wheelchair New York.

“It’s tough to admit,” said Jessy Yates, “but it’s often hard for people to see past disability. There are so many misconceptions and misperceptions. What better way to change this than by creating fashion that helps us to see it all differently?”

About The Cerebral Palsy Foundation

Founded in 1955, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation continues to powerfully address a specific problem, which is that people with disabilities so often don’t get the support and services they need at the moments when they need them and, as such, lives are too often significantly and unnecessarily challenged. CPF is driving initiatives implemented within some of the country’s most prestigious medical institutions including Harvard University, UCLA Medical Center, Columbia University Medical Center, Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, New York City Department of Education and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Today, our initiatives are creating near-term impact across the life-span from Early Detection, to promoting inclusion in schools, Gaming for adolescents with disabilities, and Transforming Healthcare for Women with Disabilities. Today CPF has over 100,000 followers on social media and in the past year we have had over 70 million views of our videos. To learn more about our work, please visit

About Anna Sui:

Anna Sui’s collections take you on a creative journey that is unparalleled in the world of fashion. Mixing vintage inspiration with her current cultural obsessions, she effortlessly makes hip and exuberant original clothes. Anna Sui’s first fashion show in 1991 earned her international acclaim. She won the CFDA Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent in 1993, and in 2009 she received their prestigious Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. Anna Sui has 50 boutiques in eight countries and her collection is sold in over 300 stores in over 30 countries. The Anna Sui line also includes her very popular fragrance and cosmetic collections as well as successful shoe and accessory licenses. Anna Sui designs and manufactures from her New York City headquarters. Her runway shows continue to inspire and set trends with her signature rock-n-roll romanticism.