Name: Alexandra Kutas

Age: 24

Education: Dnipropetrovsk National University, psychology

Profession: Model

Did you know? Kutas is currently working on the script of a film about bipolar disorder and wants to to draw people’s attention to this problem in Ukraine.

Alexandra Kutas, 24, was born paralyzed from the waist down, but decided to enter the hyper-competitive industry of modeling. This year she signed her first contract with a modeling agency and spent two-and-a-half months in New Delhi, India, having photoshoots and taking part in a catwalk show.

Kutas was inspired to go into modeling in 2009 when she first saw model Aimee Mullins appear on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week. Mullins was born with a medical condition that resulted in both of her lower legs being amputated.

Two years later, a photographer approached Kutas in a café and asked her to do modeling for a photo shoot.


“I had no idea that it would be a turning point in my life, but I fell in love with the process and I started thinking that it could be my career,” she said.

However, Kutas said that the Ukrainian fashion world wasn’t ready to employ a model in a wheelchair.

“After there was an article about me in the Daily Mail, people said that it was so cool, and that I would wake up tomorrow and get a call from some major brand,” Kutas said. “But I never thought like that, and it never happened like that.”

She graduated from Dnipropetrovsk National University with a diploma in psychology, and worked as an English-language tutor before concentrating on her modeling career. Kutas wrote to various agencies in Ukraine, but was rejected because of her disability.

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Now, she says, the situation has started improving as more people understand that beauty can be diverse.

Ukrainian fashion photographer Andrey Sarymsakov exhibited photos of Kutas in a project called “Break Your Chains” at Ukrainian Fashion Week in 2015.

The next year, designer Vozianov devoted his fashion show for his fall-winter 2017–18 collection to Kutas and premiered a fashion video starring the wheelchair model. This June, Kutas went to New York to take part in a gala fashion show for Runway of Dreams. The show was held in association with Tommy Hilfiger brand.


“It’s funny in a way that after every victory you need to work as hard as before, just on a larger scale,” Kutas said.

In New York, Kutas also had a photoshoot for Vogue Ukraine magazine. This year Kutas also went to New Delhi for the city’s Fashion Week. “I’m happy that with my work, and the work of my agency, we could make a change,” Kutas said. “After I took the part in the fashion show, Indian media outlets called me ‘world’s first professional model in a wheelchair.’”

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