Izzy Wheels, a company which provides customised wheelchair spoke guards, has teamed up with global doll maker Barbie to create a new collection.
The limited-edition covers are inspired by the 60th anniversary of Barbie which the company celebrated this year.
The collaboration comes as the manufacturer launches a new range which features dolls with disabilities, including one that uses a wheelchair and another with a prosthetic leg.
Izzy Wheels was founded by Galway sisters Ailbhe and Izzy Keane in 2016. Ailbhe was inspired to create the bespoke wheel guards by her younger sister who was born with Spina Bifida and is paralyzed from the waist down.
What began as a college project during her final year in The National College of Art and Design culminated in the pair being named in Forbes’ prestigious ‘30 Under 30’ list just three years later in 2018.
Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength with a number of collaborations, including the artist Maser, fashion brand Orla Kiely and illustrator Will Bryant.
"Wheels empower wheelchair users to make a statement about themselves, it makes a person's wheelchair into a friendly object rather than something purely functional. Having stylish wheels on your chair that match your outfit or show off your interests immediately addresses the chair and opens conversation," said Izzy.
Having a Barbie in a wheelchair meant so much to me as a little girl, and I love that a whole new generation of kids with disabilities can play with a Barbie that represents them.
"Our mission with Izzy Wheels is to challenge negative associations with wheelchairs and let users celebrate their individuality by personalizing their source of independence. We want to show the world that wheelchairs can be so much more than a medical device, they can be a piece of artistic self- expression," said Ailbhe.
The Barbie collection, designed by four UK-based artists, aims to be “a celebration of championing diversity and self-expression through fashion”, the company said.
The designs can be made to fit any size manual wheelchair and will also be available in miniature versions for the Barbie with Wheelchair doll.
The wheels, priced at €139 per pair, are available on IzzyWheels.com now.