Born a congenital amputee, Los Angeles-based Stephanie Thomas has redefined the contours of fashion styling, putting together accessible looks as a disability fashion stylist and advocate. Thomas is also the founder of Cur8able, a disability fashion and lifestyle blog-turned-company in 2015, pulling together disability-friendly clothing, disseminating advice and offering discount lists.
Chicago-born Thomas performed as a Chicago Bulls cheerleader and captain two years prior to college, despite early warnings from doctors’ that she may never be able to walk or dance independently due to her non-severe disability. She began researching clothing and retail trends for people with disabilities while competing in the Miss Kentucky preliminary pageant in the Miss America pageant system. Thomas had no intention of starting a business, but she was committed to providing solutions for challenges related to dressing with disabilities. She began contacting iconic designers in 2003 to ask them had they ever thought about designing for people with disabilities. After a year of no real interest within the industry to dress fashion customers with disabilities, Thomas took the three questions she’d been asking about clothing over the last decade; is the clothing accessible, smart and fashionable, and the Disability Fashion Styling System was born.
Thomas holds graduate degrees in both communication and fashion journalism. Her career includes various roles at Metro Traffic, WVKL Radio and appearances as an on-air personality at various television and news media stations. In 2004 she launched Cur8able and trademarked her Disability Fashion Styling System after over 10 years of research. In 2019, Thomas launched a podcast, and Cur8ble’s social media platforms now feature multiple regular contributors who Thomas dubs the “Cur8tors.”
In 2016 Thomas presented a TEDx Talk at TEDxYYC, the third largest TEDx event in Canada. She is also the author of a new textbook coming out January 2020 titled, Fitting in: The Social Implications of Fashion and Dressing with Disabilities. Thomas lectures in fashion marketing and advocacy communication at Woodbury University in Burbank California and sits on the Zappos Adaptive advisory board as well as the board of directors of No Limits Media.