NEW YORK — “Roll models” are getting into fashion.

Discovery Through Design, an organization celebrating the style and success of women in wheelchairs, has chosen four outstanding women in wheelchairs as “roll models.” Each winner will receive a Quickie brand wheelchair customized by designers such as Nicole Miller, Miguel Pena, Lloyd Klein, Heatherette’s Richie Rich and Traver Rains and Diane von Furstenberg.

Designers were given the chance to mingle with the winners at a luncheon here at Estiatorio Milos on May 20.

“It’s nice to meet them and see what their individual styles are like,” Miller said. “I’ve started sketching the chair, but it helps to see what their styles are like in person.”

Discovery Through Design conducted a nationwide search for the winners, looking for paralyzed women who are surviving and thriving and making a valuable contribution to the world. The winners are Jenny Smith of Louisville, Ky.; Melissa Holley of Searcy, Ark.; Michelle Boardman of Marleysville, Pa., and Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D., of Columbus, Ohio.

Next February, the winners will kick off New York Fashion Week by modeling their designer apparel and wheelchairs at Rolling With Style, a fund-raising fashion event. In addition to the winners’ chairs, other fashion designers will contribute one-of-a-kind designed chairs to show off at the event.

This story first appeared in the May 24, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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