Am­putee mod­els Cana­dian pros­the­sis

Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life - LAUREN LA ROSE

TORONTO — Ul­tra-marathon run­ner Amy Win­ters is used to train­ing for the rigours of com­pe­ti­tion, but par­ent­ing two young kids and work­ing full time left no time to pre­pare for her modelling de­but.

She clearly didn’t need it. The Amer­i­can am­putee ath­lete showed no vis­i­ble signs of nerves as she stepped onto the run­way for the VAWK show at World MasterCard Fash­ion Week on Mon­day with an eye-catch­ing ac­ces­sory to com­ple­ment her sleek long-sleeved dress: a Cana­di­an­made pros­thetic ac­ces­sory.

Re­sem­bling a piece of ge­o­met­ri­cally shaped dec­o­ra­tive ar­mour, Win­ters sported the in­tri­cate piece cre­ated by Al­berta-based Al­le­les De­sign Stu­dio, which spe­cial­izes in ac­ces­sories for low­er­limb pros­thet­ics.

Win­ters is di­rec­tor of A Step Ahead Pros­thet­ics in Long Is­land, N.Y. VAWK de­signer Sunny Fong pre­vi­ously worked with Al­le­les de­sign part­ner McCauley Wan­ner, and Win­ters said they asked her to be part of the show.

“It’s amaz­ing. It’s ab­so­lutely as com­fort­able as can be,” Win­ters said of the ac­ces­sory, which she wore for the first time dur­ing her turn on the cat­walk.

Win­ters lost her leg be­low the knee fol­low­ing a 1994 mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dent. Af­ter three years and 25 surg­eries, her left leg was am­pu­tated be­low the knee. It would take three years fol­low­ing the am­pu­ta­tion be­fore she could even at­tempt to run again, ac­cord­ing to her on­line bi­og­ra­phy.

Win­ters said she re­cently com­pleted a three-day race and plans on com­pet­ing in yet an­other en­durance event, the Death Race.

In pre­sent­ing his cur­rent collection as well as pre­vi­ous shows, Fong has made a con­certed ef­fort to fea­ture mod­els of var­i­ous body types, races and ages.

While the di­ver­sity of fash­ion con­sumers isn’t al­ways mir­rored in the mod­els fea­tured on the run­way, Win­ters felt hon­oured to be rec­og­nized and to have the chance to par­tic­i­pate.

“It’s just nice, I think, to be a part of and to be in­cluded,” she said.

Chris Young/The Cana­dian Press

Amy Win­ters wears a pros­the­sis as she shows a cre­ation from VAWK while walk­ing the run­way.

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