Fashion / Industry

Disabled + Stylish Collab Highlights Adaptive Fine Jewelry And Friendship


Stephanie Thomas (pictured at top) a successful businessperson, serves as an advocate and activist for people with disabilities and can now include jewelry collaborator among her many accomplishments.

Thomas, in a collaboration with New York’s Cut + Clarity, recently debuted Disabled + Stylish, a fine jewelry collection includes necklaces, chokers, rings, and charms designed to be “smart, accessible, and fashionable,” Thomas says.

Cut + Clarity founder Mariana Russo Chambers and Thomas worked together to create fresh ways to put on jewelry and make it adjustable as well, making the Disabled + Stylish collection something people of all abilities can wear—it is functional and beautiful, the new collaborators say.

Stephanie Thomas jewelry
Disabled + Stylish uses a variety of fine jewelry pieces, including cuff bracelets, rings, and chains to create a variety of looks that blend accessibility and smart fashion, says cocreator Stephanie Thomas.

Thomas is a congenital amputee, and she was born with missing digits on her hands and feet. As a result, she says sometimes it is difficult for her to put on jewelry, especially if it has traditional clasps. She had largely stopped wearing fine jewelry because of this, so Thomas says she was excited to have this luxury back in her life with her work with Cut + Clarity.

Thomas is the founder and CEO of Cur8able, which started as a blog and turned into a consulting and styling business that helps people with disabilities find clothing and accessories that work with their bodies, empowering the disability community and educating the fashion industry.

Chambers says she found Thomas’s Disability Fashion Stylist Instagram profile in late 2021, and she was attracted to Thomas’s mission, platform, and focus on styling clothing and accessories for people with disabilities. The two women started talking in real life, and Chambers says they wanted to work together.

“I thought [Stephanie and her styling system] was genius,” Chambers says. “This puts the human at the center of the design process.”

Cut Clarity
Both Thomas and Mariana Russo Chambers say they became friends through the process of creating the Disabled + Stylish collab, a line of fine jewelry that Thomas helped create at Cut + Clarity, Chambers’s brand.

Thomas says she feels that love and returns it. “I love the fact that she is a woman, a mom, a wife, and she’s doing this thing as a founder. I feel her authenticity. This was a learning process for her and for me, and she learned the language and how I talk about disabilities and how I see it.”

Thomas found the experience liberating in new ways, especially in terms of putting herself fully into the collab, she says. Thomas also met with people within her personal community and women with disabilities to talk about what they wanted in fine jewelry as she approached this project.

“I rarely talk about my own story because I focus on dressing other people,” Thomas says. “This was a pleasure for me to use my styling system on myself in terms of collaborating with someone to create something for me.”

Stephanie and Mariana
Thomas says being the main model for the collection was exciting because she is a true believer in this fine jewelry collection and the collaboration.

Thomas says her system has three pillars: First, it has to be accessible, meaning it has to be easy to put on and take off. It also has to be medically safe, meaning it must be gentle on the skin. The second pillar is that it has to be smart, taking the stress out of dressing. Another pillar is that it has to be fashionable, and fashion can be something people with disabilities sometimes feel left out of, Thomas says.

Chambers says she appreciated how Thomas explained that Cut + Clarity didn’t need to reinvent the wheel: Some simple adjustments could make her jewelry more accessible for people with disabilities. Adaptive fine jewelry is not only good for people, it’s good for businesses to listen and innovate, Chambers says.

“Companies think they have to go above and beyond, but you likely already have the tools for accessibility,” Chambers says.

So, whether it is a cuff, an adjustable necklace with an adjustable ball clasp that can be a choker or a long chain, or the hand cuff and chain, the Disabled + Stylish collection is chic, bold, and meaningful, Thomas says. That is especially true of the Cur8able charm, which blends two Cs, which stand for Cur8able and community.

“[Mariana and Cut + Clarity] gave me the opportunity to put on fine jewelry on my own and have collector’s pieces I can pass down,” Thomas says.

Top: Stephanie Thomas and Mariana Russo Chambers collaborated on the Disabled + Stylish collection, a line of fine jewelry created by Chambers’s company Cut + Clarity, which highlights adjustable, fashionable, and smart jewelry for people with disabilities (photos courtesy of Cut + Clarity). 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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