PS: So instead, you included a woman in a wheelchair.
CH: One of my good friends is a doctor in a wheelchair. I didn't realize at the time that it was the first-ever wheelchair on a runway. The story went viral, and Karen saw it online. She emailed me right away: "I was so thrilled and moved that a designer welcomed someone with a disability on the runway. You don't see that often, and I hope it really opens doors for people with disabilities. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes — there's absolutely no right or wrong."
PS: You don't get emails like that every day! How did you respond?
CH: She was gorgeous. I loved her bohemian style. I asked her to walk in my show, and she told me her $100,000 prosthetics were stolen off her porch. I worked with this prosthetics company to create a new set of arms for her. And, we finally met in person last week for the first time.
We talk all the time. It's so funny because I felt like I knew her, like old friends. It was definitely very surreal. And seeing firsthand how she experienced struggles was hard to take.