Founded by the ultra- chic Victoria Jenkins in 2016, the evolution of Unhidden is a story of how one woman’s life experience has propelled her to create a fashion line with a difference.
Unhidden is leading the way in adaptive clothing, Victoria’s classy designs suit the needs of people across a range of disabilities and those undergoing medical treatment. The disabled designer’s most recent partnering with Kurt Geiger for London Fashion week was a huge leap not only for the brand but also for all of the fabulous models who took part.
Uplifted Magazine was privileged to have Victoria, in person, at a photo-shoot in March 2022 for our launch. She brought along some classic pieces for our models and an immediate connection was formed with our Uplifted ladies on the day. One of which is the amazing Lucy- Jane @lucyjane.fashion. Lucy-Jane had to have her bowel removed at age 17 due to Ulcerative Colitis. The fashionista was one of the Unhidden models for London Fashion week. We couldn’t be happier to see this union formed through Uplifted. Lucy -Jane has dreamt about being part of a runway show since she was a little girl. Unhidden has given this woman the opportunity to make her dreams come true. Unhidden is empowering women – the Uplifted way!
Let’s get a visual on some of the Unhidden collection – How exciting!
Lucy-Jane after walking the runway – “It was truly amazing and soooo exciting”
Looking back … The beginning of Unhidden – An inspirational story
After having life- saving surgery in 2012, Victoria faced a reality that nobody could have prepared her for. After years of stomach bloating symptoms and chronic pain with doctor visits leading to no more than pain meds- Victoria’s life changed forever when an undiagnosed ulcer burst in her stomach. More surgery followed in 2016 and she had a prolonged stay in hospital.
It was during this stay that Victoria met another incredibly brave woman who had survived Ovarian cancer. However, like so many other women, she was living with the after effects of surviving cancer. She had two stoma bags and two IV lines from her chest and arm. Every time that she needed to be seen by a nurse or doctor, she had to remove her clothing. The women became friends and she shared these experiences with Victoria.
“After speaking to this woman and learning about what she had to go through – I thought, we can do better than this.”
Victoria had been a garment technologist for 14 years, immediately her mind went straight to a fashion solution. From her hospital bed, she began researching. Quickly realising that there wasn’t a clothing options with ‘access’ for patients who were living with medical conditions, the idea of Unhidden started to take on life. Her vision began to grow and extend cross other disabilities, such as wheelchair users and Victoria soon realised that there absolutely was a place in the market for her designs.
“I have always loved to design for people specifically. The aim has always been to make people feel good about themselves and designing clothes for their body type.”
Despite all that Victoria had gone through, she turned her misfortunes in to an endeavour. This lady hasn’t stopped since…
Victoria’s designs started to gain momentum and she entered Unhidden in to various competitions.
“I won Enterprise nation’s Female start- up of the year. I also won Micro Businesses’ start- up of the year and Holly Tucker’s Business for good. I was awarded the third most influential disabled person in the UK from the Shaw Trust as part of their Disability Power 100.”
TV and Media
A recent appearance on Dragon’s Den didn’t lead to a financial backing from the Dragon’s this time but undeterred, in true Victoria form, she has pushed on and has had other ‘angels’ supporting her growth. An incredible media campaign around Unhidden for London Fashion week meant that ‘The One Show’ aired a programme about Victoria’s journey with Emma Willis presenting. Channel 4 also aired a short docu-film about how inclusive fashion week really is.
Emma Willis introduced the brand in the perfect way on the One Show:
“It will not only turn heads – it will change lives.”
“I am going to be feeling beautiful, sexy, empowered and fearless.”
“I just can’t wait to hit that runway.”
The heart of Unhidden
Victoria’s hands on approach and engagement with her models was moving. This is not a ‘behind the scenes’ job for the designer. This is about the people inside the clothes and the difficulties that they have had to face throughout their lives. Unhidden is giving them an opportunity to express themselves in a way that they never have before. This is an inspirational story for every community. Unhidden is bringing quality fashion and design, in statement colours that offers versatility and comfort, with practicality – the only way is up for this brand.
This a revolution in fashion that reaches far beyond the fabric. This is a sign of humanity where firsts are being born and raised. Disability is not about hiding and stereotyping; it’s about being unhidden and self expression.
Purchases for any garments can be made on the Unhidden website. A new collection has just been launched- so get shopping for you or share this article with a friend and recommend.
Prefer to rent the pieces? Start following @loanhood and you can rent out the items as an alternative option.