I met Clara, her mom Betina, her dad Carlo, her brother Davi some days ago after I listent to one of their interviews, telling the amazing story of Clara and her achievements.
I cannot say how incredible and emotional this meeting was but, I can share what Davi said at the end: “Mom, it doesn’ look like you two talked about work!”
Clara is THE example of how talent can be as diverse and inclusive as you can imagine and how family has the greatest role, in making it possible for kids with disabilities, to live a life full of love, success and accomplishments.
I wish you get enchanted by Clara’s story and mom Betina’s words, as I did.
WHO IS CLARA WOODS?
Clara Woods is an Italian teenage girl that had a prenatal stroke.
Doctors told us that Clara would have been a vegetable.
Today she is 14 years old and can’t speak, write nor read but she understands three languages, and she is an international artist.
Clara loves painting and uses it to communicate with others… and also with herself.
Clara is an influencer who shows how to be happy every day and not give up despite all difficulties!
FASHION AND PAINTING HAVE A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN CLARA’S LIFE: COULD YOU SHARE HER FEELINGS ABOUT IT?
Yes! Through arts, Clara understood that she has a place in this world.
Even without being able to speak and living with a disability, she can have the opportunity to be someone, and create something that other people are willing to know about.
Clara’s relationship with Frida Kahlo helped this process and brought an example of perseverance and victory in her life.
Fashion is giving Clara a bunch of self-esteem and lots of joy, as she feels like any teenager. In her day by day life, Clara cannot wear all types of shoes nor dresses. Since Clara is a beautiful girl and feels comfortable in front of the camera, I decided to auto produce some photo shootings in order to promote her style, hoping that soon, she will be invited to take part in some fashion campaigns.
Not because of her disability, but because of her talent.
LET’S BREAK SOME STEREOTYPES: WHAT IS IT THAT CLARA CAN DO (AND HAS DONE) DESPITE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK?
First of all, she can understand three languages. During primary school teachers and doctors fought with us, because they did not agree with the fact that we would speak Portuguese and English. They thought that Clara would not be able to learn Italian, and that we were confusing her.
She became a digital influencer. In the beginning, when I shared my idea with family and friends even, people always reacted in strange ways, telling me it was a crazy idea.
Clara was the first kid in Italy to open her VAT number, at the age of 12.
And Clara is selling her artworks all over the world.
Last but not least, I called several kids model agencies in Italy: the best ones. They refused Clara because, I believe, the Italian fashion industry, is not ready for a model like her.
But now, she is becoming a top model, and soon we will see her representing some essential brands.
We dream together about it, and we are working on it.
HOPEFULLY, MANY OTHER YOUNG LADIES AND PARENTS WILL FEEL MORE REPRESENTED AFTER YOUR STORY: DO YOU HAVE ANY FASHION AND BEAUTY BRANDS TO SHARE WITH THEM?
Clara loves wearing some of the t-shirts of Bagni Luisa to paint in and the dresses of Rock & Roll Emporium. We have difficulty finding shoes, so she usually uses running shoes.
We always get the fly knit models from Nike, because it is a super stretchy textile.
WHAT ARE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ISSUES WHEN YOU GO SHOPPING?
I’m always terrified. The dressing rooms are still so small that it is not easy to be in two, inside. It is difficult to find pants, because Clara can’t manage bottoms and for her age, there is not much out there that is trendy, comfortable and without bottoms.
WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE FASHION INDUSTRY?
Nobody is perfect, so why does the fashion industry want us to be perfect to be on the cover of a magazine or starring a campaign?
The damage to our lives is enormous. For people with disabilities, like Clara, it creates a significant trauma deep within.
The other day Clara asked me to buy a tutor for her right hand, because she doesn’t like how people look at her on the streets.
It made me cry.
The Fashion Industry is also responsible for that. If more diverse people were represented in the world, the mentality of the public would change, and it would be much easier to accept and live with diversity.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE:
Clara just got an American visa as an extraordinary talent. As soon as COVID emergency is over, we plan to spend some time in California and present Clara’s art there.
In November 2020, there will also be the launch of a children book that uses Clara’s paintings, to explain inclusion and diversity.
Last but not least we are preparing a limited edition collection, of clothes and accessories, with unique pieces painted by Clara.
Claras’ website: https://www.clarawoods.art/
Clara on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/woods_clara_/
Clara on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarawoods06/