A small company from British Columbia wants to give amputees some flash to their dash, and will be revealing their creations in front of the world at the Olympic games in Rio.
Design studio Alleles fashions these trendy prosthetic covers, empowering amputee athletes to express their style. They’re made from a polymer plastic, and clip around any prosthesis.
“What we want to do is blur the lines between prosthetics and clothing,” said Ryan Palibroda, a co-founder who handles the technical designs, in an interview with CTV News.
The company’s M.O. is emphasized in their online ad campaign, which has athletes telling the public how the covers have changed their perception of themselves.
Co-founder McCauley Wanner says athletes want to show their unique fashion palates, evidenced by the multiple styles an athlete will typically pick up to accessorize various outfits.
“We just want people to forget about them while they are wearing them,” said Palibroda.
Amputees added the covers provide a sense of normalcy in their lives, and alters the perception from outside viewers in their day-to-day lives.
“Children come up, they don’t ask your limitations, they ask about what special powers you have,” said Sam Paulos, who lost his leg from an infection five years ago. He owns three distinct covers for his prosthetic.
“People would often come up before and say, ‘Oh I am really sorry, how did you lose your leg?’ and more often than not they will look at me and say, ‘Wow,’ that looks really neat and interesting. Tell me about it,” he continued.
Many Paralympians are already onboard, ready to show off their covers when they read to Rio later this summer.