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Nader Bahu

Nader Bahu, is a Palestinian-American man, who is a writer, director, editor, actor, and planner. He lives with a one of a kind muscle atrophy disability that causes muscle weakness, which leads to him having an open mouth, voice impairment, an inability to walk, and the weakening of his body over time. He has made many short films, which mostly focus on the disability perspective. He believes that he can make his films despite his circumstances and limitations as a disabled person. The films that he made have won a few film festivals and awards.

Nader's Experience with the Project

Why did you want to participate as a model for this year's Runway Showcase?

I wanted to participate as a model in this year’s runway because I am trying to make a brand from the term “ABLE”. It’s a term that represents my mindset and who I am as a person. A person who knows what he is capable of despite what others think of him.


What was your experience with working with the designers?

It’s been really smooth. At the beginning of the project I had someone different but I guess they changed it with other designers, which I don't mind. I love meeting different people, but it was a bit odd that the designers changed. I like all the people that I have met through this experience.

Describe how it feels to have a fashion design project honoring those with a disability. How do you think fashion can be more inclusive to serve people in the disabled community?

I am not too sure since every disabled person is different. For me, I am looking to encourage myself as well as encourage others to believe in themselves, so that is why I want to create ABLE clothing. Fashion for me was not a big deal before my first run way but now i understand the appeal of it.

Designer: Amber Dayton


Amber Describing the Design for Nader

Clothing is a powerful way to communicate who you are and express yourself to the world. The purpose of my disability collection is to take Nader Bahu's inspirational message that “despite my disability, I am still ABLE to follow my dreams,” and share it with others through fashion.


Nader Bahu reaches people through his films and by sharing his story about overcoming the challenges he faces; he helps others who are experiencing their trials and tribulations in life. ABLE represents believing in oneself, having faith in God, and never giving up on your dreams. T


o highlight Nader’s message, I designed a fanny pack in black with the word ABLE in white. It has one deep pocket for storing essentials like his iPhone and a side zipper in the front for easy accessibility. Aesthetically, a goal is to add other design elements such as a circle behind the word ABLE to symbolize a camera lens and a touch of red because it is one of Nader’s favorite colors.

Mood Board

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Amber's Design for Nader


Dialogue with Amber

Why did you decide to major in fashion design?

After working for ten years in the Cosmetology industry, I took a leap of faith to pursue my true passion and major in fashion design. It is something that I have wanted to do since I was a child.  

What is your favorite part of being a fashion designer?

My favorite part of being a fashion designer is the creative process of building my mood boards, sketching designs, selecting fabrics and trimmings, and constructing the final garment. It is exciting to see my visions come to life.  

What excited you most about designing a garment for this year's Runway Show?

I was most excited about learning more about the disabled community and strategizing how to design something that was more personalized and functional for my model’s needs. 

What were your inspirations while creating your designs?

My inspirations while creating my designs were my model’s passions including filmmaking and gaming. I wanted to incorporate my model’s logo ABLE into my design and have it be the focal point.


What is the name of your collection? Is there a significant meaning behind the name?

The name of my collection is ABLE, my model’s logo, which stands for his message that, “despite my disability, I am still ABLE to follow my dreams.”

What was the most challenging aspect of the disability design project?

The most challenging aspect of the disability project was doing the entire project remotely from home. 

How was your experience with working with your model?

My experience working with my model was awesome. He was so kind, communicative, and collaborative for this year’s Runway project.  

Design Team: Toni Kostelec, Sarah Shoberg, & Nathan Barnes


Describing Their Design for Nader

For the design of this garment, we want to incorporate a structure that can hold and support a smartphone or small camera. Since Nader mentioned that he often uses his iPhone to create content, we thought it would be helpful to secure it somewhere on his clothing.


The concept for our design is to create drawstrings on a hoodie that would also function as bendable tripod legs. The ends of the legs would connect to a specialized case for the iPhone while the weight would be supported by a band in the hood.


Throughout the process, we received feedback from Nader and finalized the design accordingly. To fit Nader’s desired aesthetic, we decided to spin off an all black hoodie with a customized design of his logo located on the upper back.

To complete the look, we added a light blue logo tee, black jeans, and of course, Vans. For the jeans, we added extra length so that the fit is improved when in the seated position.


Overall, this was an amazing experience and it was so great getting to know our model and understanding his personal style. We all put lots of thought into the purpose and aesthetic of each garment, and hope that we’ve created a look that our model loves.

Mood Board

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Logo Design and Finished Concept

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Dialogue with Sarah

Why did you decide to major in fashion design?

I initially decided to major in fashion because it was something that interested me. Both of my grandmothers have always been such an inspiration for my journey in fashion design, as they both pursued a degree in fashion design as well. 

What excited you most about designing garments for this year's Runway Show?

What excited me most about designing these garments was that I had creative freedom to design whatever I wanted. For the hacked garment, my options were endless, so even just the creative brainstorm was especially fun for me. As for the disability design project, I was most excited to create a garment that our model would love.

What were your inspirations while creating your designs? 

Much of my design inspiration comes from my surroundings both in nature and in an urban environment. While designing the hoodie for our model, I gained much inspiration from him and what he described to us as his personal style.

Did you have a name for your collections? Is there a significant meaning behind the name?

The name for our disability collection was titled “Hooded Camera Stand” which is mostly representative of our hoodie garment which includes a built in tripod as the drawstrings.

What was the most challenging aspect of the hacked garment project/disability design project?

The most challenging aspect of both the hacked garment project and the disability design project was probably time management. Keeping up with deadlines and making sure that everything was moving on schedule was oftentimes difficult.


How was your experience with working with your model?

My experience working with our model was so great. I loved curating a garment tailored to Nader’s style and ideas. It was such an amazing learning opportunity and really allowed us all to gain a better understanding of a client/designer dialogue.

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